Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity within the EU reaches 10-year high

William Turvill
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A model displays the new washing and dry
UK laundry firm Berendsen was on the end of a takeover offer from French rival Elis last week (Source: Getty)

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity within the European Union has reached a 10-year high, despite uncertainty around numerous political votes in the area.

Announced deal values between EU nations have totalled $206.9bn (£159.5bn) so far in 2017, more than double the $95.5bn recorded at the same time last year.

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Thomson Reuters, which compiled the data, said it was the highest-year-to-date figure on record since 2007.

Large deals in the last week include a €16bn (£13.8bn) bid by Italy’s Atlantia for toll road giant Abertis, and a £2bn hostile approach on UK laundry firm Berendsen by French rival Elis.

France has been the most active EU nation, accounting for 26 per cent of deals by target country and 42 per cent by buyer.

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The UK has been the third most targeted nation, with 572 deals worth $18.5bn, and the second most acquisitive, with 627 deals worth $19.5bn.

Industrials has been the most active area, followed by consumer products and services and consumer staples.

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