15 December 2017
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its Quarter Three (July to September) 2017 report on 5 December showing a sizeable increase in the value of successful cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions.
The official figures show a total of 163 successful domestic and cross-border acquisitions and disposals involving UK companies worth £86.4 billion, compared with 241 transactions valued at £33.2 billion in Quarter Two (April to June).
The report states that there were a total of 52 completed inward cross-border transactions with a total value of £16.8 billion, which is significantly higher than the £3.9 billion reported for Quarter Two. In addition, the total of successful domestic acquisitions (UK companies acquiring other UK companies) during Quarter Three was 58 and had a total worth of £5.6 billion, the highest quarterly value since October 2016 where 130 acquisitions gave a total value of £6.8 billion.
It is therefore apparent that whilst the number of deals being completed has reduced, the multiples and values being paid for acquisitions remain resilient for transactions involving UK companies. In addition, with 52 inward cross-border transactions during Quarter Three, it is evident that the UK remains – for the time being – an ideal target for overseas acquirers amid continued Brexit uncertainty. Whether this continues as the post-Brexit outlook becomes clearer remains to be seen.