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This Market Tracker trend report includes in-depth analysis of the 12 firm offers and 10 possible offers announced in H1 2020 and provides insight into what to expect to see in H2 2020 and beyond.
Click here to download a PDF copy of the report
The economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a material impact on public M&A activity, with activity particularly reduced in Q2 2020.
There were 12 firm offers announced in H1 2020 compared with 33 firm offers in H1 2019 and 33 firm offers in H2 2019. Aggregate deal value was £2.6bn (H1 2019: £26.5bn; H2 2019: £27.5bn), which is the lowest half-yearly aggregate deal value for UK public M&A transactions since H1 2009.
Although deal volume was significantly down, there was an increase in the proportion of firm offers that were public to private transactions with eight of the 12 firm offers (67%) involving private equity, family offices or individuals (H1 2019: 39%; H2 2019: 58%).
Given the decreased deal volume it is difficult to draw meaningful conclusions about industry sector focus when looking solely at firm offers. However, if both possible and firm offers are included, a trend emerges with twelve (54%) of the 22 possible and firm offers announced in H1 2020 being in the Technology, Media & Technology (TMT), Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals sectors.
In 2019 we saw overseas bidders take advantage of a weak sterling with 47 (71%) of the 66 firm offers involving a non-UK bidder with an aggregate deal value of £44bn, representing 82% of aggregate deal value in 2019. H1 2020 saw a decrease in overseas interest in UK quoted targets with non-UK bidders accounting for six (50%) of the 12 firm offers with an aggregate deal value of £679m, representing 26% of aggregate deal value during the period.
In addition to the impact on M&A deal volumes, the coronavirus pandemic affected public takeover transactions in a number of ways:
The report considers a number of legal and regulatory developments in H1 2020, including:
The report contains expert commentary from:
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Market Tracker is a unique service for corporate lawyers housed within Lexis®PSL Corporate. It features a powerful transaction data analysis tool for accessing, analysing and comparing the specific features of corporate transactions, with a comprehensive and searchable library of deal documentation across 14 different deal types. The Market Tracker product also includes news and analysis of key corporate deals and activity and in-depth analysis of recent trends in corporate transactions.
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