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UK still a top destination for M&A activity, says EY

Oct 24
Tags: Ernst & Young LLP
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UK still a top destination for M&A activity...

Concerns like Brexit and the state of the global economy might be weighing heavily on the minds of many business leaders in the UK, but the country remains one of the most desirable global markets for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) investment.

That's according to the 21st EY Global Capital Confidence Barometer, which gauges the overall corporate outlook based on survey responses from more than 2,900 executives in 45 countries.

The UK was ranked the second most appealing international destination for M&A investment, behind the US. The top five was as follows:

  1. US
  2. UK
  3. Germany
  4. China
  5. Canada

Steve Ivermee, managing partner for transaction advisory services at EY in the UK and Ireland, said the results showed that corporate leaders are still focused on M&A activity, despite geopolitical uncertainty and specific concerns like Brexit and global trade tensions.

He added: "Company executives are particularly looking to invest in technology and talent through acquisition, to support growth, which is fuelling deal making. At the same time, they are using M&A as a means to reshape their portfolios and future-proof their businesses."

Mr Ivermee also pointed out that "purpose and social impact" are "increasingly on the minds of business leaders".

A substantial majority (84 per cent) of companies already have social value reporting metrics, or plan to introduce them in the next year.

Other findings showed that, while the markets for deals in the UK and Germany remain strong, respondents in these countries were fairly pessimistic about the economic outlook. Eight out of ten executives (80 per cent) in Germany and 62 per cent in the UK were expecting the economy to take a negative turn.

Globally, 54 per cent of business leaders surveyed were not expecting an economic downturn.

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