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UK: Trend Report H1 2021

The pandemic, Brexit and political uncertainty hit the UK hard in 2020 but the M&A market has remained resilient throughout with the remainder of 2021 looking particularly robust


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Dealmakers shake off 2020 blues with big-ticket UK acquisitions

The pandemic dealt a swift and sharp blow to the UK economy, with GDP falling 9.9% compared with 2019. Yet, despite considerable headwinds, UK M&A activity held up impressively in 2020, posting the second highest aggregate annual value since 2006.

The UK economy is geared for a swift recovery, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predicting growth of 7.2% in 2021, the highest figure since 1941. Against this positive backdrop, and as the end of lockdown comes into view, confidence within the UK’s M&A market is on the rise. A total of £132.9bn changed hands in H1 2021 – a 77% year-on-year increase. Deal volume, meanwhile, rose by 74% over the same period.

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