European Mergers and Acquisitions Increase by 44 Percent in Value in H1 2014

By Annifer Jackson

The aggregate value of merger and acquisition deals struck across Europe in the first half of 2014 rose by 44 percent compared to the same period last year, according to research by Experian.

This amounts to around €550 billion making it Europe’s most valuable H1 since 2007, before the financial crisis.

Experian highlighted that the bulk of the deals came from the manufacturing sector, with particularly strong showings from pharmaceuticals, despite the collapse of Pfizer’s bid to acquire the UK’s AstraZeneca.

Although the value of these M&As increase markedly, the volume of such agreements actually fell, underlining concern that small businesses are yet to recover in the same way as larger counterparts. Across Europe, 4,469 deals were struck in H1 2014 compared to 5,450 in H1 2013.

In the UK, the value of M&As increased by 65 percent but volumes fell 11.2 percent. Commenting on this, Wendy Driver, Business Development Manager at Experian UK&I, said: "The UK's M&A market continues to return mixed results.

“On the one hand, transaction values have soared over the first six months of the year, boosted by a number of high value deals in the pharmaceutical and telecoms sectors involving some of the country's largest corporate players, and improving economic sentiment has led to British firms becoming increasingly active overseas. But, overall volumes still lag behind, with activity in the small deals segment looking particularly sluggish".

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