British firms holding back on mergers and acquisitions as Europe forges ahead

According to new figures from the Intralinks Deal Flow Predictor, M&A activity in Europe in the next six months is set to increase by 14.4 per cent over the same time last year. Deals in the EMEA region are set to grow by 13.3 per cent.  

However it said the UK was more “subdued”, with a 10 per cent increase over the same period a result of “uncertainty around a hung parliament” following the 7 May vote.

“UK dealmakers may be taking a more cautious approach to M&A until the future political direction of the country is decided,” Intralinks said. 

The DFP forecasts the volume of future M&A announcements by tracking deals in the preparation stage or those that have reached due diligence.

It said European M&A volumes will be boosted by a “bullish deal environment” in Germany, with early-stage deal activity rising 26 per cent compared to the same period last year. 

Read more about M&A in the UK:

The recently launched European Central Bank’s €60bn per month quantitative easing programme is also expected to stoke more deal activity.

Intralinks said the manufacturing/industrials, technology and consumer sectors were seeing the most activity with a third of European dealmakers believing the most attractive acquisition targets are internet of things companies.  

It said global M&A announcements will increase by around six per cent in the first half of 2015 compared to 2014, with the US performing well.

Globally, online businesses, mobile payments and analytics firms are the most attractive acquisition targets. 

Philip Whitchelo, vice president of strategy and product marketing at Intralinks, said: “2014 was a year of recovery in global M&A markets, and 2015 has started very strongly. We expect the first half of 2015 to show a mid-single digit increase in the volume of deal announcements compared to last year. Dealmaking looks set to remain especially robust in the US and EMEA.”

Image: Shutterstock

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