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Latest M&A Statistics for Q4 2019

The UK Office for National Statistics have just released their latest data for Mergers and Acquisitions involving UK companies during the period October to December 2019.

HEADLINES

  • In Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019, cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving a change in majority share ownership saw notable decreases in both value and number, while domestic M&A recorded an increase in the value but a fall in the number of deals.
  • During January to December 2019, the estimates for the values of inward and domestic M&A saw notable decreases from 2018; outward M&A also fell.
  • Domestic M&A (UK companies acquiring other UK companies) was valued at £2.4 billion in Quarter 4 2019, higher than the previous quarter (£1.6 billion); the total value for domestic M&A for the whole of 2019 was £8.7 billion, notably lower than the value in 2018 (£27.7 billion).
  • In Quarter 4 2019, estimates for the total value of inward M&A (foreign companies abroad acquiring UK companies) was £13.4 billion, slightly lower than Quarter 3 (Jul to Sept) 2019 (£14.0 billion); the value of inward M&A for 2019 was £53.8 billion, a sizeable decrease of £25.0 billion compared with 2018 (£78.8 billion).
  • The value of outward M&A (UK companies acquiring foreign companies abroad) was £3.5 billion in Quarter 4 2019, a decrease of £4.2 billion on the value recorded in the previous quarter (£7.7 billion); in 2019, outward M&A was worth a total of £20.9 billion, much lower than 2017 (£77.5 billion) and £2.9 billion lower than the value in 2018 (£23.8 billion).

Domestic mergers and acquisitions – October to December 2019

In Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019, the estimates for the value of domestic mergers and acquisitions (M&A) (UK companies acquiring other UK companies) saw an increase when compared with Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019. However, the number of completed domestic M&A recorded a decrease.

The value of domestic M&A in Quarter 4 2019 was £2.4 billion, £0.8 billion higher than the £1.6 billion recorded in Quarter 3 2019. This can be explained by the completion of more higher-valued acquisitions when compared with Quarter 3 2019 (see chart below).

One higher-valued acquisition that completed in Quarter 4 2019 was OneSavings Bank Plc of the UK, which acquired Charter Court Financial Services Group Plc of the UK.

Value of domestic mergers and acquisitions transactions involving UK companies by quarter

There were 186 completed domestic acquisitions involving a change in majority share ownership in Quarter 4 2019.

Number of domestic mergers and acquisitions transactions involving UK companies by quarter

Domestic mergers and acquisitions – January to December 2019

Between 2018 and 2019, the value and number of domestic M&A recorded notable decreases (see below chart).

In 2019, the value of completed domestic M&A was £8.7 billion, a sizeable decrease of £19.0 billion when compared with the £27.7 billion recorded in 2018. This decrease in value during 2019 can be explained by a reduction in higher-value domestic M&A transactions. Year-on-year comparison also shows that the value of completed domestic M&A during 2019 was the lowest recorded since 2015, when the value was £6.9 billion.

One notable domestic M&A that took place in 2019 was Ensco Plc of the UK, which acquired Rowan Companies Plc of the UK.

There were 871 completed domestic M&A involving a change in majority share ownership in 2019, a notable decrease of 89 transactions on the number recorded in 2018 (960).

Domestic mergers and acquisitions – January to December 2019

Inward mergers and acquisitions – October to December 2019

The estimates for the value and number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of UK companies made by foreign companies during Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 saw decreases when compared with Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019.

The total value of inward M&A in Quarter 4 2019 was £13.4 billion, a decrease of £0.6 billion when compared with the value recorded in Quarter 3 2019 (£14.0 billion) and £25.4 billion lower than the value of £38.8 billion recorded in Quarter 4 2018 (Figure 4).

One higher-value transaction that completed in Quarter 4 2019 was the acquisition of Poole based Merlin Entertainments Plc of the UK by a LEGO holding company Kirkbi A/S of Denmark.

Value of quarterly inward mergers and acquisitions transactions involving UK companies

There were 108 successful inward acquisitions by foreign companies in Quarter 4 2019, a decrease of 45 transactions on the number reported in Quarter 3 2019 (153) and 29 fewer than Quarter 4 2018 (137), shown in the bar chart below.

Number of quarterly inward mergers and acquisitions transactions involving UK companies

Inward mergers and acquisitions – January to December 2019

The value and number of inward mergers and acquisitions (M&A) saw sizeable decreases in 2019 when compared with 2018 (see bar chart below).

In 2019, there were 575 completed inward acquisitions, worth a total of £53.8 billion, compared with 603 inward M&A, with a value of £78.8 billion recorded in 2018.

While historically, the value of inward M&A has been volatile, the decrease seen during 2019 can be explained by fewer higher-value acquisitions compared with 2018. Further information can be found in Mergers and acquisitions involving UK companies, annual overview: 2019.

Inward mergers and acquisitions – January to December 2019

Area analysis of mergers and acquisitions in the UK by foreign companies – 2005 to 2019

The majority (503) of total inward M&A deals in 2019 (575) came from the Americas (269) and Europe (234), which is comparable with 2018. In 2018, 603 inward M&A deals were recorded, with 267 from foreign companies located in the Americas and 254 from Europe.

Outward mergers and acquisitions – October to December 2019

The latest estimates for the value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of foreign companies made by UK companies during Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 showed a decrease when compared with both Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019 and Quarter 4 2018 (see chart below).

The value of outward M&A involving a change in majority share ownership in Quarter 4 2019 was £3.5 billion, a £4.2 billion decrease compared with Quarter 3 2019 (£7.7 billion) and a £7.0 billion decrease from Quarter 4 2018 (£10.5 billion).

There were 44 completed outward M&A deals during Quarter 4 2019, similar to Quarter 3 2019 when 54 acquisitions were recorded but 34 fewer than Quarter 4 2018 (78).

One sizeable outward acquisition that completed during Quarter 4 2019 was The Unite Group Plc of the UK, which acquired Liberty Living Group Plc of Jersey.

Outward mergers and acquisitions – October to December 2019

During Quarter 4 2019, there were 13 outward disposals involving a change of majority share ownership. These transactions were valued at £0.6 billion, a smaller value than the value in Quarter 3 2019 (£10.1 billion) when 28 disposals were reported. The decrease in both number and value of outward disposals seen in Quarter 4 2019 can be largely explained by fewer deals completing and those that were successful being of smaller values.

Outward mergers and acquisitions – January to December 2019

Outward mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity declined during 2019, recording decreases in both the value and number of acquisitions involving a change of majority share ownership.

In 2019, the total value of completed outward M&A was £20.9 billion, £2.9 billion lower then the value in 2018 (£23.8 billion) and the lowest recorded since 2016 (£17.3 billion). Looking at the longer time series, the values in recent years are notably lower than the £77.5 billion value recorded in 2017, the highest value since 2011 (£50.2 billion). This is explained by acquisitions of lower values being completed.

There were 250 successful outward M&A transactions during 2019; this was 51 fewer deals than in the previous year (301) and similar to the 2011 level (286).

The provisional Office for National Statistics provisional conclusions on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving UK companies for 2019 published on 03 March shows values of inward and domestic M&A transactions were both around £20 billion lower in 2019 than in 2018. However, for inward M&A, this partly reflects one very-high-value deal completed in 2018. Separating that deal from the other deals in 2018 shows that the value in 2019 was slightly higher. There were also more deals with values between £1 billion and £10 billion in 2019 compared with 2018.

The value of domestic acquisitions in 2019 was comparable with previous periods of domestic M&A. The value of domestic M&A in 2019 was £8.7 billion, which was similar to the annual average domestic acquisitions between 2009 and 2015 (£8.4 billion per year) but also between 1990 and 1994 (£8.0 billion).

The value of outward M&A in 2019 was also lower than the value recorded in 2018. However, it remained comparable with annual values in 2012 and 2018, and with the remainder in 2017 when the deals above £10 billion are excluded from the total.