M&A deals down as wary market means talks are more likely to fail

HEADWINDS in the market are putting pressure on UK M&A deals, leaving a raft of takeover bids struggling to reach completion, new research published today shows.

Despite a rebound in bid talks, completed M&A deals fell 60 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010, as companies snubbed offers felt to be too low and investors remained wary of tough market conditions.

In the past six months alone 14 UK-listed takeover targets ended talks with potential suitors, research from City law firm Wedlake Bell found.

“Deal activity amongst UK listed companies is still going on but it does seem to have reached a temporary slowdown,” said Wedlake Bell corporate team head Tim Bird.