UK M&A deal value rose by 20 per cent during the first quarter of 2012 compared to the last three months of 2011, findings show.
Research from accountancy firm Ernst & Young reveals that despite the increase in value, which was driven by a ‘significant’ 41 per cent increase in the average value of deals from $189 million (£118 million) to $246 million, the UK posted a 14 per cent decrease in the volume of M&A conducted during the same period.
Global M&A saw a decline in both value and volume, with 24 per cent less M&A activity recorded during the first quarter of the year quarter-on-quarter, and 26 per cent down on the same period during 2011.
Jon Hughes, transaction advisory services leader at Ernst & Young, comments, ‘The market uncertainty of late last year has clearly impacted transaction activity in Q1 of 2012.
‘That said, the small upswing in average deal values could indicate an increase in confidence amongst buyers – who whilst still cautious about undertaking transactions, are more willing to push through larger deals.’
Since Ernst & Young started its M&A Tracker in the first quarter of 2010, the firm says that the level of cross-border and cross-regional activity has been remarkably steady over the last nine quarters.
The first quarter of 2012 has seen both cross-border and cross-regional activity increase slightly to 32 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. In the UK, cross-border deals accounted for 39 per cent of deals cross-border and 28 per cent cross-regional.