Record low number of completed deals during 2014 is surprising, says KPMG

Record low completed deals during 2014 is surprising

Andrew Nicholson, head of M&A for KPMG in the UK comments on the Q4 2014 M&A figures released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS)

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Commenting on the Q4 2014 M&A figures released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), Andrew Nicholson, head of M&A for KPMG in the UK, said:

“The record low number of completed deals during 2014 was somewhat surprising, given the multiple high-profile transactions which hit the headlines over the course of the year. But while we may have expected the ONS stats to be more positive, we are optimistic that the increased noise and corporate and investor appetite to transact will lead to more deals getting over the line over the coming months.

“Although there remain some macro-economic factors which are creating a degree of uncertainty in the UK – for instance, the outcome of the General Election, Eurozone growth and geo-political concerns particularly around Russia and the Middle East - there is nevertheless an enormous amount of optimism in the market.

“UK corporates have cash to spend and have been performing well. Additionally, we are seeing that the price expectations of buyers and sellers are now more balanced than for some time. Taken together, we believe the M&A market in the UK will very much be alive and well in 2015.”

Nicholson added: “It will be particularly interesting to see what impact falling energy and commodity prices have on corporate confidence and deal levels, as these are crucial drivers in a number of key markets. We are already seeing telecommunications companies looking for deals, while a number of healthcare companies have been looking to grow via mergers and acquisitions, which is a trend that we expect to continue.”

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About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.9 billion in the year ended September 2014. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 162,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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