Deals driven by foreign demand

MID-MARKET deals of up to £500m jumped in value by 66 per cent last year, according to research by accountants Grant Thornton.

Last year saw 2,163 deals at this level, worth £38.9bn in total, versus 2,021 deals worth £23.5bn in 2009. The jump was driven by foreign and private equity bidders.

But most of the action was earlier in the year. “The number of deals dropped off in the second half as uncertainty gripped the market once again and economic recovery looked likely to be a long slog,” said Grant Thornton partner Stephen Baker.