Financial services helping to drive UK M&A activity, research shows

Financial services helping to drive UK M&A activity, research shows

Research from mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and debt advisory firm Livingstone Partners has shown that M&A activity targeting companies in the UK increased by 13% in the second quarter of the year, with financial services being one of the main drivers of growth.

The findings showed that the UK continues to lead the way for M&A in Europe, with a total of 355 deals taking place in Q2 2018.

Top sectors

The UK outperformed Germany, the Nordics, India and China, which accounted for 214, 262, 75 and 60 deals respectively. Of the M&A deals in the UK, 163 originated from foreign-owned businesses, with 69 of these being from the US. This was higher than the number of deals from foreign-owned businesses in the first quarter of 2018, which stood at 152.

The research identified the top sectors for M&A activity, with business services leading the way at 140 deals, up by 20 deals on the previous quarter. 

The UK’s consulting & business-related services was the best-performing sector of the 30 core sub-sectors included in the study, with 70 deals taking place in the second quarter of the year. Financial services were also among the 30 core sub-sectors, accounting for 32 deals.


Commenting on the research, Livingstone Partner Daniel Domberger stated that despite the increasing threat of trade wars and other political disruptions, the M&A market continues to be strong and deal activity has thus far defied the political uncertainty seen at home and abroad.

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