UK takeovers drop to lowest level since 1987

Chris Papadopoullos
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THE NUMBER of takeovers and mergers involving UK companies dropped in 2014 to its lowest level since records began 28 years ago.

There were 376 domestic and cross-border acquisitions completed during 2014 compared with 437 in 2013, according to figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The takeover of UK companies by other UK companies dropped to 173 in 2014 from the previous year’s 238. The figures are for deals over £1m.

“The downward trend of domestic M&A may be a result of UK political instability as UK businesses exper­ienced uncertainties about the outcome of the Scottish Referendum, held in September 2014, and the impending general election in May 2015,” the ONS said.

During 2014, the number of UK firms being acquired by foreign companies (inward M&A) dropped from 141 in 2014 to 98 last year.

“The low levels of M&A inward activity during 2014 may be due to various economic factors such as low global economic growth, continued political instability abroad and the fall in the value of the euro and other foreign currencies,” the ONS said.