Latest M&A Statistics for Q1 2021
The UK Office for National Statistics have just released their latest data for Mergers and Acquisitions involving UK companies for Q1 2021, during the period January to March 2021.
Statistics for Q1 2021 Headlines
In Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2021, inward mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving a change in majority share ownership saw a small increase in value, while domestic and outward M&A recorded sizeable decreases.
The total number of monthly deals fell to a low of 58 in May 2020 as the amount of M&A activity was affected by the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, though activity has since increased and, in March 2021 (153), was the highest since March 2020 (196).
In Q1 2021, the total value of inward M&A (foreign companies abroad acquiring UK companies) was £6.1 billion, £0.1 billion higher than Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2020 (£6.0 billion).
The value of domestic M&A (UK companies acquiring other UK companies) was £3.8 billion in Q1 2021, a decrease of £5.3 billion on the value recorded in the previous quarter (£9.1 billion).
Outward M&A (UK companies acquiring foreign companies abroad) was valued at £2.5 billion in Q1 2021, £1.9 billion lower than the previous quarter (£4.4 billion).
M&A activity has been affected by the COVID-19, where the total number of completed monthly domestic and cross-border deals fell from 196 in March 2020 to a low of 58 in May 2020. Since the fall, M&A activity started to recover with an upward trend to December 2020 (145 deals). January 2021 (114 deals) recorded a slight decrease before the upward trend continued into March 2021, which recorded 153 total monthly deals – the highest since March 2020 (196 deals).
Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2021 saw 383 completed transactions, a decrease of 49 when compared with the previous quarter (432), and a sizeable decrease of 101 when compared with Q1 2020 (484).
The total number of monthly M&A deals saw similar numbers completed in the months of October to December 2020 to those seen in 2019. While the total deals for March 2021 are the highest since March 2020, the number of monthly deals for all types of M&A has remained below the respective March 2020 numbers. There was a noticeable increase in inward M&A deals between September (35) and October (65) 2020; likewise, for domestic from October (61) to November (88) 2020.
The Bank of England Agents’ summary of business conditions report for Q1 2021 states that “Companies’ investment intentions picked up modestly but remained weak” and that “fewer contacts said that they were cancelling or postponing investment and more said they were reinstating investment to increase efficiency and capacity“.
There were 135 inward deals in Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2021, £0.1 billion higher than the previous quarter (£6.0 billion) and £1.1 billion higher than the value of £5.0 billion in Q1 2020.
One notable inward acquisition that completed in Q1 2021 was: Electronic Arts Inc of the USA, which acquired Codemasters Group Holdings PLC of the UK, more details here.
There were 135 inward M&A in Q1 2021, a decrease of 27 on the previous quarter (162) and 17 fewer than Q1 2020 (152).
There were 34 inward disposals of UK companies involving a change of majority share ownership during Q1 2021, worth £2.1 billion; this was an increase of £1.7 billion on the value reported in Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2020 (£0.4 billion) when 23 disposals were recorded.
The value of domestic M&A involving a change in majority share ownership in Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2021 was £3.8 billion, £5.3 billion lower than the previous quarter (£9.1 billion) and a £0.6 billion increase on Q1 2020 (£3.2 billion).
Notable domestic acquisitions that completed in Q1 2021 were:
- Future Plc of the UK, which acquired GoCo Group PLC of the UK details here
- The Wellcome Trust Ltd of the UK, which acquired Urban & Civic PLC of the UK more on the acquisition here
There were 195 recorded transactions of domestic M&A during Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2021.
In Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2021, the value of outward M&A was £2.5 billion, £1.9 billion lower than recorded in Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2020 (£4.4 billion); this can be explained by the completion of fewer acquisitions with values in excess of £0.1 billion.
There were 53 completed outward acquisitions involving a change in majority share ownership in the first quarter of 2021, the same number as reported in the previous quarter (53) and 28 fewer than in Q1 2020 (81).
One notable outward disposal was: Centrica Plc of the UK, which sold Centrica US Holdings Inc and Direct Energy Marketing Ltd of the USA.
During Q1 2021, there were four outward disposals involving a change of majority share ownership valued at £2.7 billion, £10.3 billion lower than the previous quarter (£13.0 billion) when 15 disposals were reported. The sizeable decrease in both the number and value of outward disposals in Q1 2021 can largely be explained by fewer large value deals completing.
The above data for M&A Statistics for Q1 2021 was extracted from the following Office of National Statistics full details here.
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