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EY data shows strong M&A activity in UK

Apr 13
Tags: Ernst & Young LLP
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EY data shows strong M&A activity in UK

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is one area where UK businesses have witnessed strong trends so far this year, according to the latest data from EY.

The professional services firm said accelerating domestic and international activity provided an "impressive start" to 2018 as far as UK deal making is concerned.

Overall, the value of UK M&A deals in the first three months of the year reached the highest point for a first quarter in ten years, approaching levels similar to those witnessed in Q1 2007.

There were 681 deals made with a value of $120 billion (£84.1 billion), marking a big increase from the corresponding figures of 586 deals and $51 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Significant growth was recorded in domestic, outbound and inbound M&A at the start of 2018. It was the inbound segment that delivered the strongest trends, rising from 133 deals worth $11 billion in Q4 2017 to 177 deals for $67 billion in Q1 2018.

Telecommunications was the leading sector, with a total transaction value of $44.6 billion, followed by the automobile ($18 billion) and healthcare ($13.5 billion) industries.

EY also noted that the "special M&A relationship" between the UK and the US remains strong. During the first quarter of 2018 there were 68 deals worth $60 billion coming into the UK from the US, which was the leading foreign acquirer of British firms ahead of France, Switzerland, Japan and the Netherlands.

The US was the second most popular destination for UK companies doing deals abroad, behind Switzerland and ahead of Germany, Oman and France.

Steve Ivermee, EY's managing partner for transaction advisory services in the UK and Ireland, said: "The UK deals market has experienced a very healthy start to the year as UK companies with presence in international markets remain particularly attractive to international investors.

"More significantly, we see UK businesses continuing to make deals internationally."

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