Market Tracker weekly bulletin – 28 February 2019

Market Tracker weekly bulletin – 28 February 2019

A round up of key developments in corporate transactions covered by Lexis®PSL Corporate and Market Tracker this week, including highlights from the Market Tracker trend report on Public M&A activity in 2018 and a focus on recent developments in diversity. 


Market Tracker publishes report on Public M&A trends in 2018

Market Tracker has published its report on Public M&A activity in 2018, which provides an in-depth analysis of the 42 firm and 49 possible offers announcements made for companies subject to the Takeover Code in 2018. The report includes insight into public M&A trends and what we might expect to see in 2019 and beyond.

Topics covered include:

  • transaction structure
  • deal value and volume
  • hostile takeover activity
  • industry focus
  • public-to-private transactions
  • UK and foreign bidder activity
  • post-offer undertakings
  • disclosure of bidder’s 2019 intentions
  • legal and regulatory developments

The report includes analysis of high-profile transactions, including Melrose’s 2019 hostile offer for GKN and the competing bids for Sky by Fox and Comcast.

What are the highlights from the report?

Public M&A deal volume was slightly down in 2018 compared with 2017. However, this was offset by a substantial rise in deal value, with aggregate deal value of £122.1bn in 2018 (2017: £45bn) and average deal value of £2.9bn (2017: £959.5m). 

Of the 42 firm offers announced in 2018, 17 (40%) had a deal value of £1bn or more. The first three quarters of 2018 were particularly active, generating 36 deals with an aggregate deal value of £117.5bn. The two largest deals were Takeda Pharmaceutical’s 2019 offer for Shire (£45.6bn) and Comcast’s 2019 offer for Sky (£30.6bn).

Computing & IT was the most active industry sector, but Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, Engineering & Manufacturing, and Media & Telecommunications also saw high levels of activity. 


Schemes of arrangement remain the most popular choice of structure, accounting for 74% of all firm offers announced in 2018. 76% of all firm offers were cash offers and 93% included a cash element.

Private equity buyers were active, being involved in 29%

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About the author:

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.