M&A activity in Q3 falls to lowest level in nine years

The number of UK M&A deals shrunk by 40 per cent in the third quarter versus quarter two, while deal values for the first nine months of the year have halved according to the latest report from Experian.

In total, there were 1,216 UK M&A transactions recorded in the third quarter of the year, down by almost 700 deals versus quarter two, representing the lowest third quarter total since 2010. 

Despite the decline in the overall market, RSM moved from third to second place in the M&A league table, advising on 109 completed deals in the first three quarters of the year.

Commenting on the results, Rob Donaldson, RSM head of corporate finance said: 'It's hardly surprising that deal activity has ground to a halt. With Halloween upon us and the temperature outside falling, the market has taken fright and M&A activity has frozen.  

'Whilst the mid-market remains strong, overall the market remains challenging.  Despite the perception that UK assets are cheap, overseas buyers remain on the sidelines and private equity remains the key support to the market. Well prepared businesses still attract attention and deals are still being done but it's tough out there and is likely to remain so until Q2 of next year at the earliest.'