The number of UK companies buying up foreign firms rose to the highest level since the second quarter of 2012, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics.
However, the total number of deals involving UK companies fell 24 per cent to 90 in the first quarter of this year, down from 119 in the previous quarter, and a nine per cent fall from the same period last year.
Of those, 28 were UK-based companies taken over by domestic firms; 21 were overseas businesses buying up UK companies; and 41 were foreign takeovers by UK businesses.
However, the ONS says quarter-on-quarter data is very volatile, as it can be skewed by one enormous deal, making the long-term trend more important.
And the long-term trend shows that the total number of deals involving UK companies is yet to return to levels seen before the 2008-9 economic downturn.
But each deal is worth more
Similarly, the average value of each deal involving a UK company rose compared to the last twelve quarters, but the ONS said this remains "low when compared with historical activity between 1997 and 2011".
And while the number of deals in the first quarter of 2015 continued to fall, their values actually increased, suggesting that the "transactions which did complete were of a higher monetary value".