Deal volumes down 15 per cent
A reduction in the number of smaller deals has contributed to a 15 per cent fall in the volume of mergers and acquisitions in the North West during the first nine months of the year, according to figures released by Experian Corpfin.
There have been a total of 380 reported transactions in the region in the year-to-date, down from 450 for the same period in 2013. However, the value of those deals is significantly higher – rising from £5.06bn to almost £6.8bn.
Experian said a feature of M&A activity this year across the UK has been a fall in the number of small deals, worth between £500,000 and £10m. However, there was an 18.5 per cent increase in the number of mid-market deals (£10m to £100m) and an 18.8 per cent upturn in the number of large deals (£100m to £1bn).
Nationally, deal volumes continue to be driven by activity within financial services and insurance. The sector has seen 1,162 transactions announced in the year-to-date accounting for 31.1 per cent of the overall UK deal total and up by almost 1 per cent on a year ago.
The next busiest sectors were manufacturing (with 23.3 per cent of deals) and professional, scientific & technical services (20 per cent), although both of these saw activity decline, by 11.4 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.
Greater London has continued to dominate the UK deal landscape so far 2014, with 41.7 per cent of the UK's deals. It has also retained its status as the most valuable region, with deals worth £125bn being announced so far this year compared with £95.7bn this time a year ago.
Experian added there has been increasing levels of cross border deal activity involving UK companies. There were 440 inward deals worth £58.6bn announced so far 2014, up by 2 per cent and 166 per cent respectively against the 432 deals worth £22bn recorded for YTD 2013.
Richard Bolton, head of Corpfin at Experian UK&I, said: "What we've seen this year has been an increased number of high value, cross border transactions, set against static or falling deal volumes in the UK.
"So far in 2014 we’ve seen the number of outbound deals increase to a level not seen since before the credit crunch highlighting increased proactivity and confidence by UK firms on the acquisitions trail overseas and 40 per cent of the mega-deals announced YTD 2014 were outbound deals."