Deal values fell significantly in the UK and, to a lesser extent, globally in the first half of 2016.
And mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is expected to fall further in the next six months, with Brexit and the prospect of Donald Trump causing uncertainty.
According to Dealogic, total UK deal value fell 63 per cent from $194.8bn (£146.6bn) in the first half of 2015 to $72.9bn.
Mergermarket’s statistics for January to June 2016 show the UK was not the only area to see a slowdown in activity. Global M&A deal values fell by 32.7 per cent, from $1.81 trillion in the first half of 2015 to $1.22 trillion.
Andrew Wingfield, a corporate partner at King and Wood Mallesons, said: “With uncertainty over Europe, a higher risk of a break-up of the UK than before the Leave vote and fears of a Donald Trump presidency in the US, these factors are likely to hit M&A activity levels.
“M&A is all about confidence, and heightened levels of uncertainty in the UK will dampen boardroom confidence. As a result, it is likely we see many press the pause button on planned acquisitions and disposals.”
Experts at PwC, EY and Mergermarket have also told City A.M. they expect Brexit to lead to a further slowdown in activity.
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