Market Tracker weekly bulletin – 7 February 2019

Market Tracker weekly bulletin – 7 February 2019

A round up of key developments in corporate transactions covered by Lexis®PSL Corporate and Market Tracker this week, including a summary of the key findings in the upcoming 2018 Public M&A Report, a look at law firm IPOs, an update on cancelled IPOs and a focus piece on recent developments in the audit process.

Transactions

Takeovers

Public M&A Trend Report 2018

The Market Tracker team have conducted research into public M&A activity in 2018 for their annual Public M&A report, which aims to provide an insight into the dynamics of UK public M&A activity in 2018 and predictions for 2019. The report will examine UK public M&A deals announced from 1 January 2018—31 December 2018 (2018 review period).

A total of 91 transactions which were subject to the Takeover Code (the Code) were reviewed, of which 42 were firm offers (23 Main Market companies and 19 AIM companies) and 49 were possible offers, including 10 formal sale processes and one strategic review, (36 Main Market companies and 13 AIM companies).

Our initial findings suggest that the volume of firm offers in 2018 decreased by 10% from a total 47 firm offers announced in 2017 to 42 in 2018. In contrast, deal value totalled £121.8 billion in 2018, a 170% increase on total deal value in 2017. In terms of deal financing, we found that 76% of firm offers were made on a cash only basis. 2018 also saw an increase in public equity funds financing the offers. 

Foreign bidders were active in the 2018 review period where 40% of firm offers were made by US bidders. The most active industry sector during the 2018 review period was Computing &IT, accounting for 17% of firm offers.

The report, which will be published at the end of this month, will also examine government intervention in the offer for GKN plc by Melrose Industries plc and the Takeover Panel’s implementation of auction bids in the separate competing offers by Comcast Corporation

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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.