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Strong appetite for M&A

Global Capital Confidence Barometer │UK highlights │ 17th edition

Pick up in M&A points to UK companies defying uncertainty


Our 17th Global Capital Confidence Barometer (CCB17) shows UK M&A activity is set to increase in 2018, with companies active at home and abroad and with the UK and its assets still attractive to overseas buyers.

US remains the top-outbound destination for UK acquirers

The US remains a top outbound destination for UK acquirers. Stronger cross-border dealmaking is expected to be the top UK M&A trend for the next 12 months (29%) alongside a return of private equity as a major acquirer of assets (27%), and an increase in activist investor intervention in M&A (20%).

Economic confidence comes with an acknowledgement of increasing risks

UK respondents acknowledge increasing risk on the horizon with a higher level of concern for geopolitical risks and economic uncertainty (47%) compared to the global average (43%). The response of UK businesses to the issues raised by Brexit is reflected in the 63% of UK respondents who are reorganising their geographic operations in reaction to ‘potential changes in trade policies or an increase in protectionism’ – much higher than the global figure of 41%.

Corporate venture capital investments used more by UK companies

Corporate venture capital investments (CVCs) are currently being used 68% of UK respondents, ahead of the global average of 49%. The primary reasons for using CVCs were access to new capabilities and technologies and a faster route to market.

EY - Steve Ivermee

Steve Ivermee

EY UK&I Leader

Transaction Advisory Services

+44 (0)20 7951 4757

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Download UK highlights (PDF) Press release: Pick up in M&A points to UK companies defying uncertainty

Steve Ivermee discusses his highlights from the latest EY Global Confidence Barometer