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Statistical bulletin: Mergers and Acquisitions Involving UK Companies, Quarter 1 Jan to Mar 2015 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 02 June 2015 Download PDF

Main points

  • In quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2015 there were 90 successful domestic and cross border acquisitions and mergers (M&A) involving UK companies. Despite quarter-on-quarter volatility, the total number of M&A involving UK companies remains at historically low levels of activity.
  • There were 28 completed domestic acquisitions (UK companies acquiring other UK companies) reported in quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2015, the lowest number since ONS first began publishing quarterly data in quarter 1 1969.
  • The number of inward cross-border acquisitions and mergers in the UK by foreign companies fell slightly during quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2015 with 21 completed transactions reported, compared with 28 in quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2014. This is the lowest quarterly number of inward M&A recorded since quarter 1 1988 (16 transactions).
  • At quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2015 there were 41 acquisitions and mergers made abroad by UK companies (outward M&A).This is the highest number of outward M&A reported since quarter 2 (Apr to Jun) 2012 (also 41).

Your views matter

We are constantly aiming to improve this release and its associated commentary. We would welcome any feedback you might have and would be particularly interested in knowing how you make use of these data to inform our work. For further information please contact us via email:  m&a@ons.gsi.gov.uk  or telephone  Michael Hardie on +44 (0) 1633 455923.

Summary

This release covers Acquisitions and Mergers (M&A) transactions that result in a change of ultimate control of the target company and have a value of £1 million or more. Information on the number and value of transactions are reported, in addition to whether transactions are acquisitions or disposals. Figures relating to mergers are included within acquisitions and those relating to demergers are contained within disposals. These statistics are presented on a current price basis, which are prices as they were at the time of measurement and are therefore not adjusted for inflation.

There were a total of 90 successful domestic and cross-border acquisitions and mergers involving UK companies in Q1 2015. This included 28 domestic transactions, 21 inward transactions and 41 outward transactions  representing a 24% fall on the previous quarter (119) and a 9% fall on the number recorded at Q1 2014 (99).

The quarterly numbers and value of M&A activity are prone to large quarter-on-quarter movements, as these data relate to specific ‘one time’ only transactions. For example, one quarter can be heavily impacted by one large transaction. Therefore it can be more appropriate to analyse trends over time. Overall, during Q1 2015 the total number of domestic and cross-border acquisitions and mergers involving UK companies remained at a much lower level than before and immediately after the 2008-09 the economic downturn.

Figure 1: Number of acquisitions involving UK companies 1987 to 2015

Figure 1: Number of acquisitions involving UK companies 1987 to 2015
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Please click on image to enlarge.

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The level of overall M&A activity during Q1 2015 can also be placed in context by comparing the levels of M&A activity involving UK companies with the average number, value, and average value per transaction of consecutive 5 year intervals since 1997 (see table 1 below).

The average values of acquisitions and mergers involving UK companies, per transaction, for Q1 2015 increased when compared with Q1 2012-Q4 2014, although all remain below the averages for the 5 year intervals prior to 2012. This highlights that M&A activity for Q1 2015 remained low when compared with historical activity between 1997 and 2011.

At Q1 2015 the number of acquisitions and mergers abroad made by UK companies (41) showed an increase of 71% when compared with the average number recorded between 2012 and 2014 (24). Similarly, the average value of outward M&A per transaction also increased by 26% from £164 million during 2012-2014 Q4 to £207 million at Q1 2015.

The average number of acquisitions and mergers of UK companies by foreign companies (inward M&A) in Q1 2015 (21 transactions) reflected a 38% decrease when compared with average estimates for 2012-2014 Q4 (34 transactions). In contrast, the average value per transaction between Q1 2015 and 2012-2014 Q4 increased by 43%, from an average value per transaction of £158 million to £226 million at Q1 2015.

In Q1 2015, the average number of domestic M&A fell to 28 transactions, from 58 during 2012-2014 Q4, a fall of 52%. However, the average value per domestic transaction at Q1 2015 (£39 million) reflects an increase of 44% when compared with the average value for 2012-2014 Q4 (£27 million).

At Q1 2015 both inward and outward M&A reflect an increase in the average value per transaction although the number of transactions had fallen. This indicates that although there were fewer successful acquisitions in Q1 2015 compared to Q4 2014 those transactions which did complete were of a higher monetary value.     

Table 1: The average number and value of M&A involving UK companies, grouped into five year intervals, 1997 to 2015

  Abroad by UK companies Overseas companies in the UK Between UK companies
  Number Value Average Number Value Average Number Value Average
    £million £million   £million £million   £million £million
1997-2014 Q4 80 10,440 130 49 9,481 193 126 6,426 51
                   
1997-2001 128 20,402 159 54 9,900 183 136 10,921 80
2002-2006 79 6,812 86 46 9,203 200 164 6,448 39
2007-2011 67 8,014 119 54 11,813 219 121 4,807 40
2012-2014 Q4 24 3,924 164 34 5,358 158 58 1,593 27
Q1 2015 41 8,485 207 21 4,739 226 28 1,104 39

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. The deal identification threshold has been increased at Q1 2010 from £0.1m to £1.0m and as a consequence there may be a discontinuity in the number and value of transactions reported.

  2. Average value per transaction
  3. Quarter 4 is Oct to Dec 2014. Quarter 1 is Jan to Mar 2015.

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Notes for Summary

  1. Throughout this release Q1 refers to Quarter 1 (January to March), Q2 refers to Quarter 2 (April to June), Q3 refers to Quarter 3 (July to September) and Q4 refers to Quarter 4 (October to December). 

Transactions in the UK by other UK companies

During Q1 2015, the number of successful M&A of UK companies by other UK companies (domestic M&A) decreased considerably when compared with the previous quarter (Q4 2014). Domestic M&A activity at Q1 2015 continued to remain well below the levels reported before the 2008/09 economic downturn (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Quarterly Value and number of acquisitions of UK companies by other UK companies 2006 to 2015

Figure 2: Quarterly Value and number of acquisitions of UK companies by other UK companies 2006 to 2015
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. At Q1 2010 the deal identification threshold for the mergers and acquisitions surveys was raised from £0.1million to £1.0million. There is therefore a discontinuity in the number of transactions reported as illustrated above.
  2. All values are at current prices (see Background Notes for definition).

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There were 28 completed domestic acquisitions and mergers during Q1 2015, a 52% decrease compared with 58 transactions reported in Q4 2014. This decline in domestic M&A appears to follow a historical trend seen traditionally in Q1 since 1975 and is the lowest level of domestic activity seen since ONS first published quarterly M&A data in Q1 1969.

The value of domestic M&A transactions in Q1 2015 also showed a quarter-on quarter decrease of 25%, falling to £1.2 billion from £1.6 billion in the previous quarter (Q4 2014). This is the lowest value (for acquisitions and mergers of UK companies by other UK companies) since Q3 2013, when a value of £1.2 billion was also reported.

Figure 3: Summary of mergers and acquisitions in the UK by other UK companies, 2006 to 2015

Figure 3: Summary of mergers and acquisitions in the UK by other UK companies, 2006 to 2015
Source: Office for National Statistics

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The total number of domestic M&A can be split into those made by independently-controlled companies and those which are subsidiaries. The acquisition of an independent company means the purchase of a company in its entirety, whereas the acquisition of a subsidiary means the acquisition of a part of a company, between 50.1% to 100%.

During Q1 2015, acquisitions and mergers of independently-controlled companies, (25 totalling £1.1 billion), represented the majority (89%) of the total number of copleted domestic M&A.

In comparison, domestic acquisitions and mergers involving subsidiaries between UK company groups (3 valued at £48 million), accounted for 11% of the overall total number of domestic M&A involving a change of majority ownership.

Significant domestic acquisitions, valued at £100 million or more, that took place during Q1 2015.

  1. TPG Capital LLP of the UK acquired Prezzo Plc of the UK.

  2. Bridgepoint Advisers Group Ltd of the UK  acquired Gondola Central Ltd of the UK.

  3. Ophir Energy Plc of the UK acquired Salamander Energy Plc of the UK.

  4. Coalfield Resources Plc of the UK acquired Harworth Estates Property Group Ltd of the UK.

Notes for Transactions in the UK by other UK companies

  1. Throughout this release Q1 refers to Quarter 1 (January to March), Q2 refers to Quarter 2 (April to June), Q3 refers to Quarter 3 (July to September) and Q4 refers to Quarter 4 (October to December). 

Transactions in the UK by foreign companies

At Q1 2015, acquisitions and mergers of UK companies by foreign companies, involving a change of majority ownership, fell to low levels of inward M&A activity for the third consecutive year, with the exception of Q3 2013. The number of inward M&A, at Q1 2015 remained well below the levels reported before the 2008/09 economic downturn.

Figure 4: Value and number of acquisitions in the UK by foreign companies, 2006 to 2015

Figure 4: Value and number of acquisitions in the UK by foreign companies, 2006 to 2015
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. At Q1 2010 the deal identification threshold for the mergers and acquisitions surveys was raised from £0.1million to £1.0million There is therefore a discontinuity in the number of transactions reported as illustrated above.
  2. All values are at current prices (see Background Notes for definition).

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In Q1 2015 there were 21 completed inward acquisitions and mergers of UK companies, 7 fewer than the number previously reported during Q4 2014 (28), a fall of 25%. At Q1 2015 the number of inward acquisitions and mergers was at its lowest number reported since Q1 1988, when 16 acquisitions were reported. 

Despite the downward trend in the number of inward M&A made by foreign companies reported since Q1 2014, the value of inward M&A at Q1 2015 showed an increase on the previous quarter (Q4 2014). The Q1 2015 estimates for the value of acquisitions and mergers in the UK was £4.7 billion compared with £3.9 billion reported for Q4 2014, an increase of £0.8 billion (approximately 20%).

One large publicly reported majority share acquisition accounts for the vast majority of the value of inward M&A in Q1 2015. This transaction involved Stork Holdco LP of Bermuda who acquired Songbird Estates Plc of the UK.

Further analysis of inward M&A between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015 showed the number of successful acquisitions and mergers fell slightly by 8 transactions. There were 29 inward acquisitions and mergers which successfully completed during Q1 2014 compared with 21 in Q1 2015, a year-on-year decrease of approximately 28%.

 

Other significant inward transactions, valued at £100 million or more, that took place in the UK by foreign companies during Q1 2015.

  1.  Vidrala SA  of Spain acquired Encirc Ltd of the UK.

  2. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) acquired Standard Bank Plc of the UK.

  3. Standard Bank Group Plc of Luxembourg disposed of Standard Bank Plc of the UK.

  4. Fortune Dynasty Holdings Ltd of the British Virgin Islands acquired Fortune Oil Plc of the UK.

  5. De Persgroep Publishing N.V.of Belgium acquired Mecom Group Plc of the UK.

  6. Vista equity partners fund ULP of the USA acquired Advanced Computer Software Group Ltd of the UK.

The quarterly estimates for the number and value of disposals of UK companies by foreign companies during Q1 2015 have been suppressed in this bulletin to avoid any potential disclosure in this type of M&A activity.

Notes for Transactions in the UK by foreign companies

  1. Throughout this release Q1 refers to Quarter 1 (January to March), Q2 refers to Quarter 2 (April to June), Q3 refers to Quarter 3 (July to September) and Q4 refers to Quarter 4 (October to December). 

Transactions abroad by UK companies

Figure 5: Value and number of acquisitions abroad by UK companies, 2006 to 2015

Figure 5: Value and number of acquisitions abroad by UK companies, 2006 to 2015
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. At Q1 2010 the deal identification threshold for the mergers and acquisitions surveys was raised from £0.1million to £1.0million There is therefore a discontinuity in the number of transactions reported as illustrated above.
  2. All values are at current prices (see Background Notes for definition).

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Between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015, the number of outward acquisitions and mergers made by UK companies involving a change of majority ownership saw a slight increase. There were 41 completed acquisitions and mergers during Q1 2015, a 17% increase compared with the previous quarter (35).

Despite an increase in the number of M&A abroad for Q1 2015, the value of acquisitions and mergers decreased by £3.2 billion from £11.7 billion in Q4 2014 to £8.4 billion reported in Q1 2015, a 27% decrease in value. This indicates that although more M&A were completed during Q1 2015 compared with Q4 2014, the actual transactions which took place were of a lower monetary value. However, the value of outward acquisitions in Q1 2015 shows a notable increase when compared year-on-year from Q1 2014 of £1.9 billion, Q1 2013 of £1.9 billion and Q1 2012 of £0.8 billion.

For Q1 2015 there were 8 outward disposals with a total value of £3.4 billion compared with 4 disposals in Q4 2014 with a total value of £1.3 billion. One large transaction in Q1 2015 was Standard Life Plc of the UK disposing of Standard Life Financial Inc and Standard Life Investments Inc of Canada.

Other significant transactions, valued at £100 million or more, that took place abroad by UK companies in Q1 2015:

  1. InterContinental Hotels Group Plc of the UK acquired Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group LLC of the USA.

  2. Essentra Plc of the UK acquired Blue NewCo 1 BV of the Netherlands.

  3. IMI Plc of the UK acquired B&R Holding GmbH of Germany.

  4. Barclays PLC of the UK disposed of Barclays Bank S.A.U of Spain.

  5. RPC Group Plc of the UK acquired Promens Group AS of Norway.

  6. BTG PLC of the UK acquired PneumRx Inc of the USA.

  7. Old Mutual Plc of the UK acquired Penrose Topco Ltd of Jersey.

  8. Clarkson plc of the UK acquired RS Platou ASA of Norway.

Notes for Transactions abroad by UK companies

  1. Throughout this release Q1 refers to Quarter 1 (January to March), Q2 refers to Quarter 2 (April to June), Q3 refers to Quarter 3 (July to September) and Q4 refers to Quarter 4 (October to December). 

Additional information:

Data for the following cross-border acquisition will be included in the next M&A quarterly estimates for quarter 2 (Apr to Jun) 2015.

Aviva Plc of UK acquired Friends Life Group Ltd of Guernsey.

 

How our statistics compare with external evidence

Global merger, acquisitions and disposals activity is often driven by the availability of credit and company profits, as well as a sense of confidence in the economic outlook. The majority of large M&A transactions involve some element of borrowing or leveraging. Therefore when credit conditions deteriorate, as happened in the 2008-09 economic downturn, M&A activity declines. On the other hand, the process of completing an M&A transaction takes time and sometimes there may be a lag between improving economic conditions and any quarter-on-quarter increase in M&A activity.

The Bank of England’s (BoE) April 2015 Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions reported that corporate credit conditions had improved. Access to finance had also improved slightly for small firms, but difficulties in borrowing from banks were still reported. In this same report, business investment intentions were reported to have edged higher in recent months and were consistent with modest spending growth in the year ahead. However, it was also stated that uncertainty ahead of the general election had unsettled some firms.

The BoE Credit Conditions Survey for Q1 2015 reported that credit availability for small and medium sized businesses was unchanged in Q1 2015, but had increased for large companies with an annual turnover of £25 million.

Thomson Reuters, in its Mergers and Acquisitions Review - First Quarter 2015, stated the number of announced worldwide M&A had fallen by 21% during Q1 2015 compared with Q4 2014.

Notes for How our statistics compare with external evidence

  1. Throughout this release Q1 refers to Quarter 1 (January to March), Q2 refers to Quarter 2 (April to June), Q3 refers to Quarter 3 (July to September) and Q4 refers to Quarter 4 (October to December). 

Background notes

  1. Overview of Mergers and Acquisitions:

    The M&A estimates are analysed and produced to measure investment data for:

    Investment in the UK by UK companies (Domestic investment).

    Investment in the UK by foreign companies (Inward investment).

    Investment in foreign companies by UK companies (Outward investment).

    Within ONS, M&A data are essential for producing the National Accounts. The survey results form important components of the UK Balance of Payments and Financial Accounts and are vital in the measurement of the financial and non-financial business sector accounts. M&A data is used in the compilation of the estimates for Foreign Direct Investment and additionally used by other government departments when preparing ministerial briefings. For example, HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, UK Trade & Investment and HM Revenue and Customs. The M&A data estimates are also used by foreign embassies, economists and academics for research purposes and for periodic statistical comparisons.

  2. Your Views Matter

    We are constantly aiming to improve this release and its associated commentary. We would welcome any feedback you might have and would be particularly interested in knowing how you make use of these data to inform our work. Please contact us via email: m&a@ons.gsi.gov.uk or telephone Michael Hardie on +44 (0) 1633 455923.

  3. Basic Quality Information

    The Quality and Methodology (656.3 Kb Pdf) Information for Mergers and Acquisitions(M&A) surveys report describes in detail the intended uses of the statistics presented in this publication, their general quality and the methods used to produce them.

  4. Relevance to Users

    The degree to which the statistical outputs meet users’ needs.

    Within ONS, the mergers and acquisitions data are considered to be essential for producing the National Accounts. The survey results form important components of the UK Balance of Payments and Financial Accounts and are vital in the measurement of the financial and non-financial business sector accounts.

    The Cross-Borders Acquisitions and Mergers survey (M&A) data are used in the compilation of the estimates of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). These data meet the needs of FDI by collecting data on all acquisitions which lead to a holding in excess of 10% of the issued share capital. These estimates then feed into the UK Balance of Payments and the 'Rest of the World' sector of the financial accounts in the National Accounts, for which there is an EU legal requirement. Individual transaction information is also used to estimate the counterpart in 'portfolio' investment flows for monthly Balance of Payments.

    The data collected are also used in updating business structures and country of ownership codes on the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR). The IDBR is a comprehensive list of UK businesses that is used by government for statistical purposes.

    Elsewhere in Government, Examples of Departments Who Use the Data Include:

    • HM Treasury, Economic Analysis Division, where the data are used in preparing briefing and forecasting;

    • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where direct investment data are required for ministerial briefing, parliamentary questions and in formulating trade policy;

    • UK Trade & Investment, where the information is used for briefing on the extent to which the UK is successful in attracting inward investment;

    • HM Revenue and Customs, where the data are used to help in forecasting company taxation.

    Non-Government Users Include:

    • Private companies which are interested in analysing country and industry data for trends by foreign firms in the UK and by UK companies abroad and also for researching corporate finance activity and for the purpose of investment banking;

    • UK embassies in foreign countries, who are interested in information on specific countries and companies making acquisitions, and

    • Private sector economists, journalists and academics who are interested in information on particular industries and particular countries for research purposes and who use the data for periodic statistical comparisons.

    Feedback from users has indicated that the information received from the M&A survey has a high degree of relevance across the above user groups, meets the vast majority of user needs, and all information currently collected and published is used.

    Source of Data:

    The information collected is based on reports in the financial press, specialist magazines, company and financial websites supplemented by special surveys to businesses to determine the form, value and timing of each transaction.

    If the information is not yet in the public domain, such transactions may not be reflected in the analysis. Where full information has not yet been received on the details of the acquisition or disposal, the value of the transaction indicated in the public domain is used as an interim estimate.

    The data shown in this release relate solely to mergers and acquisitions undertaken by companies: acquisitions by individuals are not included.

    This publication contains data relating mergers, demergers, acquisitions and disposals. Figures relating to mergers are included within acquisitions and those relating to demergers are contained within disposals.

    ONS makes every effort to provide informative commentary on the data in this release. As part of the quality assurance process, individual businesses are contacted in an attempt to capture reasons for large period on period data movements. It can prove difficult to gather detailed reasons from some businesses to help inform the commentary. Frequently, reasons given for data movements refer to a ‘change in market conditions’ or a ‘restructure of the company’. Consequently, it’s not possible for all data movements to be fully explained.

    ONS are aware that a number of users make use of these data for modelling or forecasting purposes. In doing so, it is important that users make note of our revisions policy (see note 9 in the background notes) and that all time series are on a ‘current price’ basis, which means that the values are as they were at the time of measurement and not adjusted for inflation. Acquisitions and disposal activity can be affected by UK and global economic and political issues and therefore quarterly estimates can be volatile.

    One question often asked of the M&A release is ‘why is there a time delay between the announcement of M&A transactions in the press and the inclusion of these transactions within ONS M&A figures?’ The difference is that ONS figures record when a transactions legally completes as opposed to when the transaction has been announced in the press. The complexities surrounding the acquisitions/disposals taking place often incurs a time lag, which can vary between quarters.

  5. Significant Transactions

    Significant Transactions tables show the reported figures for a selection of significant transactions which occurred in the quarter, where ‘significance’ is defined as the absolute value of the deal.

    The figures shown are usually the ones available from the financial press or other sources in the public domain although occasionally, with the consent of the company, the value returned to ONS is used in the tables instead of the press reported figure. If the company’s consent cannot be obtained then the deal is excluded, however, the values are included in the aggregate tables. Occasionally, therefore, a large deal may be missing (suppressed) from the lists so it is best to regard these tables as an indication of the ranking of deals rather than a completely exhaustive listing.

    Press reported figures for M&A transactions often differ to some extent from those supplied by companies to ONS and it is the latter which are used in compiling statistical aggregates in tables 1-10. (269.5 Kb Excel sheet) Included in the prices quoted in the tables of significant transactions is the total published price paid for the company excluding any assumed debt where known. Deferred payments are included in the reported price even if the payment is made in a different quarter.

  6. Types of Transactions Covered

    Mergers are acquisitions in which all or part of the payment is made in shares, such that the shareholders of the two companies become shareholders of a new, combined company group.

    Demergers are disposals where a company group divides into two or more separate companies, in such a way that the shareholders of the restructured companies remain the same, or retain the equivalent value shareholding in one of the newly independent companies. Demergers are included in the statistics within disposals.

    Acquisitions are transactions which involve one company purchasing the ordinary shares of a second company (‘target company’). A target company is usually of a smaller size than the company undertaking the purchase.

    Disposal is a term used to describe the action when a company or organisation sells or liquidates the ordinary shares of a second company (‘target company’).

    Cross-border acquisitions denote transactions where a company in one country acquires, either directly or indirectly, a controlling interest in a company in another country.

    Direct transactions are those where a company acquires a controlling interest in another company.

    Indirect transactions are those where a company uses an existing foreign subsidiary to acquire a controlling interest in a company resident in another country. The acquiring foreign intermediate company may be located in the same country in which the acquisition is being made or in a different country.

    Acquisitions within the UK by other UK companies denote mergers and acquisitions involving only UK registered companies.

    Where the acquired company was a subsidiary of another company the transaction is classified as a sale between company groups.

    The phrase ‘acquisitions in the UK by UK companies’ refer to deals where the ultimate ownership remains in the UK. This heading does not cover the total number or value of deals where a UK company is the acquirer. When a foreign company acquires a UK company through one of its existing UK subsidiaries or a UK registered special purpose vehicle that deal is shown as part of the data under ‘acquisitions in the UK by foreign companies’.

    Acquisition of independent companies

    The acquisition of an independent company means the purchase of a company in its entirety – the company itself and all of its subsidiaries.

    Acquisition of subsidiary companies

    The acquisition of a subsidiary company means the purchase of part of a company.

  7. Financing

    This statistical bulletin provides details of the application of funds to effect mergers and acquisitions and the proceeds raised from disinvestments and demergers.

    For indirect foreign transactions there is the added complication of considering the movements of funds either as capital injection or in the form of loans between parent companies and their foreign subsidiaries making the acquisition. Occasionally, the foreign subsidiary obtains the funds required partly or entirely outside the UK from sources such as:

    • Own resources

    • Borrowing from banks and other local sources

    • Share, bond and other capital or notes issued abroad

    Also, a transaction may be funded by more than 1 method.

  8. Definitions of Geographic Areas

    Table A: Defintions of geographic and economic areas

    Europe
    EU Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia
    Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
    Finland France Germany Greece
    Hungary Irish Republic Italy Latvia
    Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands
    Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia
    Slovenia Spain Sweden
    Other European Countries Albania Andorra Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Faroe Islands Gibraltar Iceland Liechtenstein
    Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Moldova Montenegro Norway
    Russian Federation San Marino Serbia Switzerland
    Turkey Ukraine UK Offshore Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, other Channel Islands & Isle of Man) Vatican City State
    The Americas
    Anguilla Antigua & Barbuda Argentina Aruba Bahamas
    Barbados Belize Bermuda Bolivia Bonaire, Sint Eustatius & Saba
    Brazil British Virgin Islands Canada Cayman Islands Chile
    Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Curacao Dominica
    Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Falkland Islands Greenland
    Grenada Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras
    Jamaica Mexico Montserrat Nicaragua Panama
    Paraguay Peru St Kitts & Nevis Saint Lucia Sint Maarten
    St Vincent & the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad & Tobago Turks & Caicos Islands Uruguay
    US Virgin Islands USA Venezuela
    Asia
    Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh
    Bhutan Brunei Darussalam Burma/Myanmar Cambodia China
    Georgia Hong Kong India Indonesia Iran
    Iraq Israel Japan Jordan Kazakhstan
    Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon Macao
    Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Nepal North Korea
    Oman Pakistan Palestinian Territory Philippines Qatar
    Saudi Arabia Singapore South Korea Sri Lanka Syria
    Taiwan Tajikistan Thailand Timor - Leste Turkmenistan
    United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Viet Nam Yemen
    Australasia & Oceania
    American Samoa Antarctica Australia Bouvet Island Christmas Island
    Cocos (Keeling) Islands Cook Islands French Polynesia French Southern & Antarctic Lands Fiji
    Guam Heard Island & Macdonald Islands Kiribati Marshall Islands Micronesia, Federated States of
    Nauru New Caledonia New Zealand Niue Norfolk Island
    Northern Mariana Islands Palau Papua New Guinea Pitcairn Samoa
    Solomon Islands South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu
    US Minor Outlying Islands Vanuatu Wallis & Futuna
    Africa
    Algeria Angola Benin Botswana British Indian Ocean Territory
    Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic
    Chad Comoros Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) Djibouti
    Egypt Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon
    Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea Bissau Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire)
    Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya Madagascar
    Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Morocco
    Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda
    Sao Tome & Principe Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia
    South Africa South Sudan St Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha Sudan Swaziland
    Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia
    Zimbabwe

    Table source: Office for National Statistics

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  9. Revisions

    Data for all 4 quarters of 2014 has been revised in the light of new information, and so revisions to the data for Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 2014 have been published in this statistical bulletin. No further revisions to data prior to Q1 2014 have been made. Therefore time series data for all quarters of 2013 and any previous historic quarterly periods remain unchanged.

    Annual data tables for 2014 are produced in conjunction with the Q4 2014 data. Revisions to the 2014 quarterly and annual figures are recalculated at Q1 2015 only. No revisions to annual data prior to 2014 have been made. Therefore time series data for previous historic annual periods remains unchanged.

    Revisions to the aggregates used in M&A principally occur for the following reasons:

    • Completion of transactions:
      On announcement of a proposed transaction an expected completion date is usually given. The publicly reported values will be allocated to the quarter of expected completion. If the transaction is ultimately completed in an earlier or later quarter, the recorded values will be reallocated to the new quarter.

    • Publicly reported values:
      Publicly reported values are initially used to compile the aggregates. These can vary considerably from the values ultimately supplied by the respondents, frequently because the assumption of debt has been included in the publicly reported value. A nominal value is applied if no publicly reported value is available. The final values used to create the aggregates are those supplied by the respondent.

    • Non-completion of transactions:
      On announcement of a proposed transaction the publicly reported value of the transaction is recorded. If the transaction does not subsequently take place the recorded value will be deleted.

    • Non-share transactions:
      On announcement of a proposed transaction it may appear that there will be transactions in the share capital of the companies involved and the publicly reported values will be recorded. If subsequent information contradicts this the recorded values will be amended or deleted.

    • Control:
      On announcement of a proposed transaction it may appear that the transaction will give the purchasing company control of the purchased company, that is, a share ownership of greater than 50%. If subsequent information contradicts this the recorded values will be amended or deleted.

    • Revisions from respondents:
      Very occasionally respondents revise the values that they have previously supplied to ONS. The revised values are those used to create the aggregates.

    Table B: Average Revisions over the Previous Five Quarters

      First Published Value (Q4 2014) Number in Latest Revised Period (Q1 2015) Average Revision 
    Number of Outward Acquisitions  26.0 35.0 2.0
    Number of Outward Disposals  3.0 4.0 0.4
    Number of Inward Acquisitions  20.0 28.0 2.4
    Number of Inward Disposals  3.0 6.0 0.6
    Number of Domestic Acquisitions  40.0 56.0 1.8

    Table source: Office for National Statistics

    Table notes:

    1. Quarter 4 is Oct to Dec 2014. Quarter 1 is Jan to Mar 2015.

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    Table C: Average Revisions over the Previous Five Quarters

      First Published Value (Q4 2014) Value in Latest Revised Period (Q1 2015) Average Revision  Average without Regard to Sign
    Value of Outward Acquisitions  11,393.0 11,752.0 71.8 71.8
    Value of Outward Disposals  1,007.0 1,323.0 64.4 64.4
    Value of Inward Acquisitions 2,658.0 3,940.0 274.4 274.4
    Value of Inward Disposals  87.0 601.0 123.8 123.8
    Value of Domestic Acquisitions 1,617.0 1,642.0 4.6 5.4

    Table source: Office for National Statistics

    Table notes:

    1. Quarter 4 is Oct to Dec 2014. Quarter 1 is Jan to Mar 2015.

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    Analysing average revisions between provisional and final estimates can provide an indication of reliability in an initial statistic. Provisional statistics may be based on less information than is available for final statistics as they have been processed more quickly to meet the demand of customers. By looking at these average revisions it can help us determine whether revisions are being made consistently in one direction i.e. if early estimates are consistently under or overestimating the later figures. A test is subsequently performed on these average revisions to determine if they are statistically different from zero. Revisions that are not statistically significant imply that an average revision might be non-zero simply through random effects.

     

  10. Response Rates

    Table D Response Rates

    Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions (CBAM) Outwards
    Statistics of Sample Size – Latest Survey Conducted:
    Reference Period Quarter 4 2014 Quarter 1 2015
    Response Rate (%) 81 81
    Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions (CBAM) Inwards
    Statistics of Sample Size – Latest Survey Conducted:
    Reference Period Quarter 4 2014 Quarter 1 2015
    Response Rate (%) 82 82
    Domestic Mergers and Acquisitions (DAM)
    Statistics of Sample Size – Latest Survey Conducted:
    Reference Period Quarter 4 2014 Quarter 1 2015
    Response Rate (%) 89 81

    Table source: Office for National Statistics

    Table notes:

    1. Previous quarter has been revised, latest quarter is provisional
    2. Quarter 4 is Oct to Dec 2014. Quarter 1 is Jan to Mar 2015.

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  11. Notes to Tables

    The deal identification threshold was increased at Q1 2010 to a value of £1.0 million from a previous value of £0.1 million. As a consequence there is a discontinuity in the value and number of deals reported from Q1 2010 onwards compared with previous periods.

    Symbols used in the tables are:

    .. Figure suppressed to avoid disclosure of information relating to individual enterprises.
    – Nil or less than half the final digit shown.

    The sum of constituent items in tables may not always agree exactly with the totals shown due to rounding.

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    The UK Statistics Authority has reviewed this publication in their report: “Assessment of compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics”: Statistics of International Transactions, which was published on 8 December 2011. This review recommended that the Mergers and Acquisitions estimates be designated as National Statistics, subject to ONS carrying out certain requirements. ONS met all of these requirements on 3 May 2013.

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Statistical contacts

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Michael Hardie +44 (0)1633 455923 Structural and International Statistics m&a@ns.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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