Throughout this week and in last weeks blog, we’ve been teasing our full region report into 2019-2020 M&A transactions, were you correct in projecting a decline or an increase and in which industries? Well, today we will go into more depth about UK M&A activity.
As we all know 2019-2020 was an interesting time for all, and UK M&A activity followed suit.
With organisations slowing down and the instability of global markets as a result of the pandemic, total UK M&A deals declined, as expected, by 30.3% from 1,781 in 2019 to 1,242 in 2020. In fact, 2019 saw the lowest number of deals recorded in a year since 2017.This trend was expected and similarly the value of total deals declined by 51.1% over the year to the lowest since 2021.
Although not a great start for UK M&A activity, there were of course some highlights too. The top 25 highest- value deals of 2020 accounted for 50% of the year’s total deals! This is a very interesting point to note. Although the value and number of deals decreased over the year, it seems organisations were prioritising quality over quantity.
Furthermore, as the world slowly started to regain grip on their business landscape and the markets settled, it was clear that M&A confidence had started to improve towards the end of 2020. As seen in our infographic, whilst the beginning of the year took a hit, the number of deals stabilised towards the end of the year whilst the value of those deals improving too.
As a result of this data, it is clear that 2019-2020 was rocky for UK M&A deals, however, as the world settles back into some sort of normality, M&A activity has settled into new trends, of few but higher value deals. Let’s see if this trend will continue into the end of 2021.
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Stay tuned for next week’s M&A regional report.