Wednesday 29 April 2020 6:47 pm

UK M&A falls to lowest monthly total in almost 35 years

UK M&A has plunged to its lowest monthly level in almost 35 years after the coronavirus pandemic smashed business confidence and sent the economy into a deep freeze.

Deal value involving a UK target totalled £409.1m from 35 deals in April – its lowest since September 1985 when nine deals worth £269.5m were struck, according to research from Refinitiv.

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Deal value has fallen 99 per cent from last month and 92 per cent compared with the same month last year.

Transaction volume has been similarly hit with an 84 per cent drop from March and an 87 per cent drop from this time last year.

Deals involving a European target totalled £4.9bn during April, dropping 91 per cent from last month to the lowest monthly total since August 1992.

Global M&A slumped to its lowest monthly total since September 2002 with deals valued at £55.7bn announced during April, down 72 per cent from last month.

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Cross-border M&A also crashed to its lowest total value since February 2002. The value of deals announced during April was £14.8bn, down 67 per cent from the previous month.

Cornelia Andersson, head of M&A and capital raising at Refinitiv, said: “It’s been an April bereft of showers for the rainmakers as coronavirus continues to take its toll on global markets – with the UK being hit severely.

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“Over the course of the last 40 years of records, we’ve encountered a number of unprecedented events and we’re now squarely back to the depths of the mid-80s where pound sterling was at its most volatile and deal making was essentially stagnant.

“The full impact of this global economic lockdown on deal making activity remains to be seen, but what is clear is that we’ve entered our next unprecedented event.”