UK M&A activity up in 2015 - but still low on pre-2008 levels

UK M&A activity in the fourth quarter of 2015 was "relatively flat" year on year and down on the third quarter.

The Office for National Statistics noted M&A “involving UK companies continued to show low levels of activity compared with those seen before the 2008 to 2009 economic downturn”.

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The ONS said that during the fourth quarter, between October and December last year, the total number of successful domestic and cross-border M&A deals involving UK companies remained “relatively flat” on the third quarter of 2015 and on the fourth quarter of 2014.

The ONS report covers M&A transactions that have been successfully completed, result in a change in ultimate control of a target company and have a value of at least £1m.

During 2015, there were a total of 510 M&A deals traced. This was up from 471 in 2014.

In the fourth quarter there were 107 deals, down from 120 in the third quarter.

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The fourth quarter saw 33 completed acquisitions of foreign companies made by UK companies, up 50 per cent from 22 in the third quarter.

Over 2015 as a whole, there were 136 such deals completed, up 20 per cent from 113 in 2014.

Meanwhile, the total number of inward, cross-border deals was 24, up 27 per cent on the third quarter. And there were 41 domestic M&A deals reported - up 25 per cent quarter on quarter.

Full story: UK M&A activity up in 2015 - but still low on pre-2008 levels: City A.M.

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