Record low number of completed deals during 2014 is surprising, says KPMG
Commenting on the Q4 2014 MA figures released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS),Andrew Nicholson, head of MA for KPMG in the UK, said:
“The record low number of completed deals during 2014 was somewhat surprising, given the multiple high-profile transactions which hit the headlines over the course of the year. But while we may have expected the ONS stats to be more positive, we are optimistic that the increased noise and corporate and investor appetite to transact will lead to more deals getting over the line over the coming months.
“Although there remain some macro-economic factors which are creating a degree of uncertainty in the UK – for instance, the outcome of the General Election, Eurozone growth and geo-political concerns particularly around Russia and the Middle East - there is nevertheless an enormous amount of optimism in the market.
“UK corporates have cash to spend and have been performing well. Additionally, we are seeing that the price expectations of buyers and sellers are now more balanced than for some time. Taken together, we believe the MA market in the UK will very much be alive and well in 2015.”
Nicholson added: “It will be particularly interesting to see what impact falling energy and commodity prices have on corporate confidence and deal levels, as these are crucial drivers in a number of key markets. We are already seeing telecommunications companies looking for deals, while a number of healthcare companies have been looking to grow via mergers and acquisitions, which is a trend that we expect to continue.”