Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the UK rose to £157 billion in 2017, the second highest total since the onset of the global financial crisis nearly a decade ago. These deals – in which a UK company was the target – also increased in volume, as 1,543 companies were taken over, up from 1,493 according to figures released by Mergermarket. This is despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its impact on the UK economic outlook.
Although the economic outlook for the UK in 2018 is mixed, we believe the consensus is too pessimistic on growth. The global economy is now firing on all cylinders – which will benefit the international-facing UK market – and we believe the risks to growth, inflation and interest rates are all to the upside, in the UK as well as globally.