UK M&A market reaches eight-year high

UK M&A market reaches eight-year high

Deals for small companies increased by 12% in 2015 making it the strongest year for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in eight years, according to new research by Experian.

The number of deals rose to 1,960 in the £500,000 to £10m segment, up from 1,757 in 2014.

The overall UK M&A market experienced its busiest year since 2007, with deal volumes rising by 10% year-on-year to 6,532.

The total value of deals was £433bn, the highest recorded since 2000’s £576bn. Deals worth in excess of £1bn surged by 21.7% in 2015 compared to 2014.

A total of 56 deals were recorded in this segment, the highest since 2000. 

Investments into UK companies from overseas increased by 14.7% year-on-year in deal numbers and by almost £100bn in value.

Experian’s Jane Turner said: “The UK’s M&A market returned to pre-recession levels in 2015 with substantial increases in deal numbers and values.

"It’s encouraging to see dealmakers are looking at smaller companies to make investments so SMEs can get the expertise and funding they need to help them grow.

"Overseas investors have also shown confidence in the UK economy by investing in greater numbers, but both domestic and international dealmakers will now be conducting thorough research as they hunt for businesses ripe for investment in 2016.”