Brexit? What Brexit? M&A deal values between the UK and rest of Europe double in first half of 2017

William Turvill
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Theresa May Meets Angela Merkel In Berlin
All smiles: German and French companies have been particularly acquisitive in the UK (Source: Getty)

The value of deals between the UK and the rest of Europe more than doubled year-on-year in the first six months of 2017.

Deals worth $32.5bn (£25.2bn) were announced in the first half of the year, up from $14.6bn in the same period of 2016.

French and German companies, in particular, have been highly acquisitive in the UK, according to an analysis by Deloitte.

“Since the EU referendum, M&A between the UK and the rest of Europe has remained strong,” said Paul Lupton, head of UK advisory at Deloitte. “This is clearly a vote of confidence in the region’s economic prospects, but also suggests that a devalued sterling is making UK assets more attractive.”

In the first two quarters of the year, Deloitte tracked 247 cases of UK firms agreeing deals worth $17.7bn on the continent, and 188 deals worth $14.7bn into the UK. Despite the doubling of value, the total number of deals has fallen, from 452 to 435.

However, it is worth noting M&A activity may have been held up due to uncertainty ahead of the vote in the first six months of 2016. In the first six months of 2015, 428 deals worth $98.5bn were announced, according to Deloitte figures.

Lupton added: “Fundamental uncertainty arising from Brexit and the recent General Election would normally adversely affect M&A volumes.

“However, low interest rates and the weight of capital available in the market is providing a very strong counterpoint to the uncertainty.

“Looking ahead, our latest CFO survey indicates the appetite for expansion through M&A rose in the second quarter of this year.”

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