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Rise in UK M&A Activity Predicted

A recent report has predicted an increase in mergers and acquisitions activity (M&A) in the UK in 2018, with companies remaining active at home and abroad and with the UK and its assets still attractive to overseas buyers.

According to EY’s 17th Global Capital Confidence Barometer (CCB17), the UK M&A market will remain dynamic over the next 12 months, with record levels of companies (60%) planning to acquire assets, up 9% since April 2017 (CCB16) and 4% ahead of the global figure. CCB17 finds that the majority of UK business executives are focusing on deals under $250m (57%) or up to $500m (20%).
The US apparently remains the top-outbound destination for UK acquirers followed by France, Germany and India.
According to CCB17, stronger cross-border deal making is expected to be the top UK M&A trend for the next 12 months (29%) alongside a return of private equity as a major acquirer of assets (27%) and an increase in activist investor intervention in M&A (20%).
According to CCB17, the UK still remains third on the global M&A destination list. The survey found that the US (1), China (2), Germany (4) and Australia (5) complete the list of top five investment destinations of choice amongst global executives.
“UK companies are facing an unprecedented breadth of challenge and change,” commented Steve Ivermee, EY’s Transaction Advisory Services Managing Partner. “Given these risks, the confidence shown by UK companies implies a strong belief in their ability to respond.”
“Looking forward, we’d expect a very active M&A market, especially on the domestic front, as companies look to innovate, but also defend against rising costs,” he added. “A focus on deals of under $250m points to UK companies focusing on making smaller adjustments to their portfolio to respond to a changing market.”

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