[Skip to Content]


Latest M&A Statistics for Q4 2021

The UK Office for National Statistics have just released their latest statistics for Q4 2021 for Mergers and Acquisitions involving UK companies for Q4 2021, during the period October to December 2021.

Please note that these include only transactions that result in a change of ultimate control of the target company and have a value of £1 million or more.

Statistics for Q4 2021 Headlines

The total number of completed monthly deals in Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2021 noticeably delined to 144 with just 77 deals in December 2021.

Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2021 saw 421 completed mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions, a decrease of 69 when compared with the previous quarter (490) and 11 fewer when compared with Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2020 (432).

Domestic M&A was valued at £2.9bn, £0.6bn higher than the previous quarter (£2.3bn).

In Q4 2021 estimates for the total value of inward M&A were £10.9bn, lower than Q3 (Jul-Sep) 2021 (£12.4bn).

The value of outward M&A was £3.4bn in Q4 2021, a decrease of £28.6bn on the previous quarter (£32.0bn).

Monthly UK M&A Q4 2021

Monthly M&A activity during Q4 2021 continued to be affected by Covid-19 and especially the emergence of the Omicron variant. The total number of completed monthly deals saw a notable decrease of 123 deals between October 2021 (200) to December 2021 (77).

Monthly domestic M&A saw 93 deals in October 2021 before activity declined in November (62) and again during December 2021 to 30 deals.

Monthly inward M&A also saw a month-on-month decrease from 80 deals in October to 55 in November and just 32 during December 2021.

The number of monthly outward M&A stayed consistent at 27 transactions between October and November 2021, but fell to just 15 in December 2021.

The Bank of England’s Agents’ summary of business conditions report for Q4 2021 states that there were “concerns about the impact of the Covid-Omicron variant on activity” during this period, which included mergers and acquisitions activity.

Domestic M&A

In Q4 2021 the value of UK domestic M&A was £3.0b, £0.6bn higher than Q3 2021 (£2.4bn).

There were 185 acquisitions in Q4 2021, 38 fewer than Q3 2021 (223) and 32 less than Q4 2020 (217).

In 2021 the value of domestic M&A was £28.3bn, up £10.7bn from 2020. The majority of activity involved subsidiaries between company groups (£22.1bn). The increase was due to a higher number of domestic M&A transactions above £100M. There were 965 domestic M&A involving a change in majority share ownership in 2021, a sizeable increase of 148 transactions on the number in 2020 (817).

Inward M&A

The total value of inward M&A fell to £11.0bn in Q4 2021, a decrease of £1.5bn compared with Q3 2021 which was £12.5bn.

A high value inward acquisition completing in Q4 2021, was Bally Corporation of the USA acquired Gamesys Group Plc of the UK for $2.7bn.

There were 167 inward M&A in Q4 2021, a decrease of 14 transactions the previous quarter (181), yet five more than Q4 2020 (162).

Outward M&A

The value of outward M&A in Q4 2021 was £3.5bn, a £28.6bn decrease compared with Q3 2021 (£32.1bn) and £1.0bn decrease on Q4 2020 (£4.4 billion).

One notable outward acquisition during this time was Astra Zeneca Plc of the UK, which acquired Caelum Biosciences Inc of the USA.

There were 69 outward M&A deals during Q4 2021, 17 fewer than in the previous quarter (Q3) when 86 acquisitions were recorded, but 16 more deals than Q4 2020 (53).

During Q4 2021 there were 12 outward disposals valued at £2.1bn, £1.0bn lower than Q3 2021 (£3.1bn) when 15 disposals were reported. The decrease in both the number and value of outward disposals in Q4 2021 can be explained by fewer deals completing.

In 2021 the total value of outward M&A was £46.0bn, £30.5bn higher than in 2020 (£15.5bn). This is the largest value recorded since 2017 (£77.5 billion). A few high-valued transactions, above £100 million, accounted for this sizeable increase. There were 104 additional transactions in 2021 (313) than in 2020 (209). The Americas saw the highest value of outward M&A during 2021 (£36.7bn).

The above data for M&A Statistics for Q4 2021 was extracted from the Office of National Statistics; full details here.

See also UK Office for National Statistics Mergers and acquisitions activity annual overview 2021. This provides further insight on how the coronavirus pandemic may have affected the time taken to complete M&A deals as well as the values of those deals. It also covers more information on the value of outward M&A in 2021 and on disposals.

Want to know how the latest UK M&A statistics for Q4 2021 are relevant to your company sale? Then contact us now for a confidential appraisal of market appetite in your industry.

Tags: , , , ,