The volume of M&A transactions across the four main markets of UK, mainland Europe, US and Asia Pacific fell by 8% in April 2015, according to a report released by Experian.
The Experian Business Research monthly review for April revealed the total number of deals fell from 1,838 in March to 1,687 in April. However, the total deal value increased from £199bn to £216bn across the same period.
The higher total deal value was driven by 33 mega-deals (valued at £1bn or higher). This was down from 45 mega-deals in March but again the total value increased from £121bn to £143bn – up 18%.
Despite the slight fall from March to April the year-on-year volume of mega-deals increased by more than 10% in all four major markets.
>See also: Top 15 deals of 2014 announced
In regional terms the UK is leading the way for total deal value. Total transaction value reached £85.03bn – a remarkable increase of 282% from £22.28bn.
This led to Europe seeing the highest rise in total deal value for April – up 22%. This saw the continent outstrip the next-highest improving market Asia Pacific (+8%).
The two deals that made up the majority of the UK’s total deal value (and that of Europe) were Royal Dutch Shell’s £47bn acquisition of BG Group and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries unsolicited proposal to acquire Mylan NV for approximately £27bn.
Beyond these two huge deals the UK had a fairly quiet month for M&A transactions; possibly due to the general election. The total number of transactions seen from March to April fell to from 438 to 381 – down 15%. This was the first time since June 2013 the total volume of deals dropped below 400.
The financial services sector bucked the general downward trend in the UK and the industry accounted for one-third of all deals completed in April. The biggest transaction was Willis Holding Group taking full control of Gras Savoye in a deal worth close to £400m.
Further reading on M&A: Inbound deals dominate European markets