UK M&A levels set to hit post-recession peak

Merger and acquisition activity involving targets in the UK is on course to have its most active year since 2007, new research finds.


Merger and acquisition activity involving targets in the UK is on course to have its most active year since 2007, new research finds.

Acquisitions in the UK are accounting for 42 per cent of European deal value, up from the 22.3 per cent recorded in 2013.

Findings collated by the Global Markets Intelligence research unit of S&P Capital IQ shows that the UK is becoming increasingly dominant in terms of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity.

UK deal value in 2014 date has surpassed full-year transaction values for each year between 2009 and 2013, and currently stands at $177.3 billion (£105.1 million). However, the figure, which is up from $147.7 billion for the entire of 2013, is largely comprised of the $115.8 billion offer for AstraZeneca from US-based Pfizer.

On a wider European basis, some $425 billion has been accounted for during 2014, up from $203 billion at the same date in 2013.

M&A activity value in Europe and the UK by year

Year European deal value (Bil$) UK deal value (Bil$) UK deal value to European deal value (%)
2006 1,283.2 354.2 27.6
2007 1,585.2 376.3 23.7
2008 853.1 193.4 22.7
2009 546.3 119.9 21.8
2010 706.2 147.8 20.9
2011 735.5 154.4 21.0
2012 749.2 159.3 21.3
2013 663.7 147.7 22.3
2013* 202.8 42.8 21.1
2014* 424.3 117.3 41.8
2014*¶ 308.4 61.4 19.9

**As of 9 May 2014 ¶ Excluding AstraZeneca bid Source: S&P Capital IQ 

S&P Capital IQ says that the top three announced European deals account for nearly 42 per cent of European M&A deal value. Alongside Pfizer’s attempted purchase of AstraZeneca, the other big-ticket deals involve Holcim’s offer for Lafarge ($46.2 billion) and the Novartis acquisition of the oncology drug portfolio and related research and development actives from GlaxoSmithKline ($16 billion).

If the Pfizer acquisition of AstraZeneca, which has come under intense pressure from within the UK, were to be abandoned, 25 per cent of European M&A value would be eliminated.

For the UK, 2007 is the year to better when $376 billion worth of deals were closed.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

Related Topics

Venture capital funding