Mergers and acquisitions involving UK companies: April to June 2018

Transactions which result in a change of ultimate control of the target company and have a value of £1 million or more.

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Cyswllt:
Email Sami Hamroush

Dyddiad y datganiad:
4 September 2018

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
4 December 2018

1. Main points

  • The value of inward mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018 was £6.5 billion, £15.8 billion lower than in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2018 – mainly reflecting the absence of high-value transactions seen in previous periods.

  • Outward M&A deal values fell to £1.9 billion in Quarter 2 2018, down from £2.5 billion during Quarter 1 2018 – their lowest level since Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2013.

  • The value of domestic M&A was £4.0 billion in Quarter 2 2018, £2.0 billion lower than the previous quarter and the first quarterly decline since Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2016.

  • M&A statistics for Quarter 2 2018 fully incorporate the new data sources and methods announced in the previous bulletin; these new data sources have improved the coverage of smaller M&A transactions and so result in a discontinuity in the number of transactions reported; users are advised to take care when comparing the number of transactions reported in Quarter 2 2018 with previous periods.

  • Consistency in the overall value of transactions remains largely unchanged, therefore no discontinuity is expected in the value series reported.

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2. Things you need to know about this release

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) occur when one company takes control of another company. The internationally-agreed definition of a M&A deal is when one company gains more than 50% of the ordinary shares (or voting rights) of the acquired company. These can be domestic transactions – where a UK-based company acquires another UK company – or international. Outward M&A transactions are when a UK-based company gains control of another company overseas, while inward M&A are from overseas companies acquiring UK companies.

We produce statistics on the number and value of M&A transactions. This information is presented in the following way:

  • transactions are only recorded in our statistics once the deal has been legally completed

  • each transaction has a value of at least £1 million

  • the transactions results in a change of ultimate control of the target company

  • all values are in current prices, and therefore have not been adjusted for the effects of inflation

These four bullet points are among the main reasons our M&A statistics can differ from those reported in other sources. There can be a substantial time gap between the point at which a deal is announced and when it is legally completed. In some cases, announced M&A deals do not take place. Our statistics on disposals (or de-mergers) are also included in tables alongside this bulletin. These are typically fewer in number per quarter, which can lead to greater suppression of statistics to mitigate disclosure. The focus of this bulletin is on acquisitions although some of the more complex deals can include the disposal of some part of the newly-created corporate structure.

It is not uncommon for the value of quarterly M&A transactions to vary considerably from one quarter to the next. This mainly reflects the nature of M&A activity in that these capture one-off deals. Therefore, if a particularly high-value M&A deal completes in a given quarter, it can make that quarter seem out-of-line with those that precede and follow it. This also makes it difficult to link M&A statistics with other economic indicators, like gross domestic product (GDP), or global events, because of the time it can take between announcing and completing a M&A deal. It can therefore be more informative to look at longer-term trends within M&A statistics rather than focussing on quarter-to-quarter movements.

Details of any notable M&A deals that completed in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018 can be found in the respective sections of this bulletin.

We have recently undertaken a review of the data sources used for identifying completed M&A transactions and creating the sampling frame for M&A involving UK companies. We have replaced the use of multiple online public sources with one comprehensive commercial data source (provided by Bureau Van Dijk) for identifying completed and successful M&A transactions. We also use values from this commercial data source to estimate for transaction values worth less than £100 million, while surveys continue to be dispatched to companies to collect information directly on any transactions identified as exceeding £100 million – which generally dominate reported headline values. Therefore, from Quarter 2 2018 there will be a discontinuity in the number of completed M&A transactions but there will be very little impact on the values reported. More information about these changes can be found in Annex 1 of this bulletin.

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3. The value of inward M&A in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018 fell sharply

The estimates for the value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of UK companies made by foreign companies over the second quarter of 2018 saw a notable decline when compared with the value recorded during Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2018, while also reflecting a sizeable rise in the number of transactions that completed over those two quarters.

The total value of inward M&A in Quarter 2 2018 was £6.5 billion. This was a sizeable decrease of £15.8 billion when compared with the value of £22.3 billion seen during Quarter 1 2018. During Quarter 2 2018 there were fewer successfully completed acquisitions with values above £1.0 billion.

There were 182 completed inward M&A deals in Quarter 2 2018. While this represents an increase of 106 transactions compared to the previous quarter, the increase is mainly as a result of the new methods introduced for compiling and producing M&A statistics. These were introduced in Quarter 2 2018 and have improved the coverage of smaller M&A transactions. It is worth noting however that these new methods only have a marginal effect on the headline values reported (see Annex 1 for more information).

Notable inward acquisitions – each valued at £100 million or more – that took place in Quarter 2 2018

Compagnie Generale Des Etablissements Michelin SCA of France acquired Fenner Plc of the UK

Elliott Management Corporation of the USA acquired Waterstones Booksellers Ltd of the UK

Wisdomtree Investments Inc of the USA acquired ETF Securities (UK) Ltd of the UK

TransUnion of the USA acquired Callcredit Information Group Ltd of the UK

La Financiere Atalian S.A.S. of France acquired Servest Ltd of the UK

There were also 11 inward disposals made abroad by UK companies involving a change of majority share ownership during Quarter 2 2018. These were worth £2.8 billion compared with nine inward disposals valued at £7.1 billion in the previous quarter.

Notable inward disposals – each valued at £100 million or more – that took place in Quarter 2 2018

A&NN Capital Management Fund Ltd of the Bahamas disposed of Waterstones Booksellers Ltd of the UK

ETF Securities UK Ltd of Jersey disposed of ETF Securities UK Ltd of the UK

Servest (Pty) Ltd of South Africa disposed of Servest Ltd of the UK

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4. The value of outward M&A in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018 was the lowest since Quarter 3 (Sept to Oct) 2013

The latest estimates for the value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of foreign companies by UK companies during Quarter 2 (Apr to June 2018) was £1.9 billion, a similar value to that recorded during Quarter 2 2016 and £0.6 billion lower than the value in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2018.

In comparison, the total number of outward M&A deals reached 75 in Quarter 2 2018. This represents an increase of 35 transactions on the number of deals reported in the previous quarter, which can largely be explained by the new methods for producing M&A statistics introduced in Quarter 2 2018 (See Annex 1 for more information).

Notable outward acquisitions – each valued at £100m or more – that took place during Quarter 2 2018

Aviva Plc of the UK acquired Friends First Life Assurance Co Dac of The Republic of Ireland

KCAD Holdings I Ltd of the UK acquired Business in Oman /Business in Saudi Arabia of Dalma Energy LLC

Learning Technologies Group Plc of the UK acquired Peoplefluent Holding Corp of the USA

Livanova Plc of the UK acquired CardiacAssist Inc. dba TandemLife of the USA

JD Sports Fashion Plc of the UK acquired The Finish Line Inc of the USA

Mondi Plc of the UK acquired Powerflute Group Holdings OY of Finland

There were also eight outward disposals made abroad by UK companies involving a change of majority share ownership during Quarter 2 2018. These were worth £2.8 billion compared with nine outward disposals valued at £0.9 billion in Quarter 1 2018.

Notable outward disposals – each valued at £100 million or more – that took place in Quarter 2 2018

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc of the UK disposed of L'Orange GmbH of Germany

William Hill Plc of the UK disposed of William Hill Australia Pty Ltd of Australia

Northern Foods Ltd of the UK disposed of Green Isle Foods Ltd of The Republic of Ireland

Nordic Packaging and Container (UK) Holdings Ltd of the UK disposed of Powerflute Group Holdings OY of Finland

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5. The value of domestic M&A in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018 remained comparable with previous quarters of 2017

The latest estimates for the value of M&A between UK companies (domestic M&A) was notably lower than for the previous quarter yet remained comparable with the quarterly values reported during 2017. Domestic M&A totalled £6.0 billion in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2018 compared with £4.0 billion in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018, a decline in M&A activity of 33%. The decline in the latest period also ends the upward trend seen in the value of domestic M&A since Quarter 4 2016.

In contrast, the number of completed domestic M&A deals in Quarter 2 2018 reached 244 deals. The sizeable increase in the number of deals when compared with Quarter 1 2018 (91 deals) is largely explained by the new method of compiling and producing M&A statistics, which was introduced in Quarter 2 2018 (See Annex 1 for more information).

Notable domestic acquisitions – each valued at £100 million or above – that took place in Quarter 2 2018

Countryside Properties Plc of the UK acquired Westleigh Group Ltd of the UK (PDF,145KB)

Cooperative Group Ltd of the UK acquired Nisa Retail Ltd of the UK

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6. M&A activity during 2017 was generally higher compared with the historic quarterly averages for the period 2012 to 2016

The longer-term trend in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity has been one of decreasing numbers and values for outward and domestic M&A. This can be seen in Table 1, which presents the average quarterly number and value of each type of M&A transaction over five-year intervals since 1997. For example, there was an average of 128 outward acquisitions per quarter between 1997 and 2001 and this had decreased to an average of 30 transactions between 2012 and 2016. The average value of outward acquisitions also fell from £20.4 billion to £4.5 billion.

By contrast, the numbers of inward acquisitions have decreased on average per quarter since 1997 but the values have increased. There were 54 inward transactions at £9.9 billion on average per quarter between 1997 and 2001, compared with 41 transactions at £14.4 billion between 2012 and 2016.

The impact of some very high-valued M&A which completed in 2017 can be seen in the average quarterly values for both outward and domestic M&A deals between the one-year interval period of Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017 to Quarter 1 2018. During this period the average value of M&A abroad by UK companies (outward M&A) was £16.0 billion compared with a much smaller average value of £4.5 billion during 2012 to 2016. Likewise, M&A between UK companies (domestic M&A) also saw a notable increase in quarterly values during Quarter 1 2017 to Quarter 1 2018 (£5.0 billion) compared with £2.5 billion over 2012 to 2016.

Similarly, the increase in the value of M&A by overseas companies into the UK (inward M&A) over 2015 and 2016 led to the value of this activity averaging £14.4 billion per quarter for 2012 to 2016 compared with a much smaller quarterly average value of £11.5 billion during Quarter 1 2017 to Quarter 1 2018.

During Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018 all M&A activity saw notable falls in their quarterly average values when compared with previous five-year intervals, which mainly reflects the lack of large value transactions seen in previous periods. In contrast, there were increases in the numbers of completed deals reported for inward, outward and domestic M&A activity. These increases are attributable to the new method for compiling M&A statistics – introduced from Quarter 2 2018 – and hence there is a discontinuity in the number of completed transactions reported (see Annex 1 for more information).

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7. External evidence suggests that business investment intentions remained modest during Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018

Global mergers, acquisitions and disposals activity can be driven by the availability of credit. Therefore, when credit conditions deteriorate, as happened in the 2008 to 2009 economic downturn, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity declines. M&A activity can also be affected by the economic outlook and company profits, in addition to a range of other economic factors. The process of completing a M&A transaction takes time and sometimes there may be a lag between improving economic conditions and any change in M&A activity.

The Bank of England’s (BOE) Credit Conditions Survey for Quarter 2 2018 reported that “the overall availability to the corporate sector was reported to have been unchanged again in Q2 2018. Within this, the availability of credit provided to small businesses was reported to have increased in Q2 2018. This is the first time that lenders have reported greater credit availability to businesses of any size since Q3 2015. The overall availability of credit to the corporate sector was expected to remain unchanged in Q3 2018”.

The Bank of England’s (BOE) Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions report update for May 2018, stated that “Investment intentions remained modest, reflecting continued uncertainty around Brexit Investment intentions were positive in business services and manufacturing, and some firms planned to invest in expanding capacity for exports, as well as in automation to counter rising labour costs. Consumer services firms’ intentions remained weak”.

The same report stated that “corporate demand for credit remained subdued, reflecting strong cash balances and/or heightened uncertainty. There had been demand for finance to support M&A activity, and some firms had undertaken pre-emptive refinancing ahead of Brexit. Supply of credit had tightened slightly for small firms”.

The Bank of England’s (BOE) Inflation Report for May 2018, reported that “business investment has been supported by external demand, limited spare capacity, the relatively high rate of return on capital and the low cost of finance, even as the rise in Bank Rate in November has fed through to borrowing costs. Its pace of growth has, however, been more modest than would be expected at this stage of the economic cycle and relative to investment growth in other countries, probably a result of the anticipation of and uncertainty over Brexit, as suggested by a range of survey evidence and contacts of the Bank’s Agents. Overall, business investment is projected to grow a little faster than current rates, as global growth and capacity pressures encourage spending, and the drag on growth from uncertainty wanes”.

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8. Data revisions

Data for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2018 have been revised in the light of new information. No further revisions to data prior to Quarter 1 2018 have been made. Therefore, time series data for all quarters of 2017 and any previous historic quarterly periods remain unchanged.

Annual data tables for 2017 are produced in conjunction with the Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2017 data outputs. Revisions to the 2017 quarterly and annual figures were recalculated at Quarter 1 2018 only. Therefore, no revisions to annual data prior to 2017 have been made and subsequently time series data for previous historic annual periods remains unchanged.

Revisions to the aggregates used in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) principally occur for several reasons.

Completion of transactions

On announcement of a proposed transaction an expected completion date is usually given. The publicly-reported values will be allocated to the quarter of expected completion. If the transaction is ultimately completed in an earlier or later quarter, the recorded values will be reallocated to the new quarter.

Publicly-reported values

Publicly-reported values are used for low value transactions (those below £100 million). Publicly reported values are also initially used to compile estimates of higher value transactions (over £100 million) in cases where a survey has not been returned in time, which can result in some revisions as the ultimate value supplied by the respondents can differ, frequently because the assumption of debt has been included in the publicly-reported value. An imputed value is applied if no publicly-reported value is available. The final values used to create the aggregates are those supplied by the respondent for large transactions (over £100 million) and publicly available information for smaller transactions (below £100 million).

Non-completion of transactions

On announcement of a proposed transaction, the publicly-reported value of the transaction is recorded. If the transaction does not subsequently take place, the recorded value will be deleted.

Non-share transactions

On announcement of a proposed transaction it may appear that there will be transactions in the share capital of the companies involved and the publicly-reported values will be recorded. If subsequent information contradicts this the recorded values will be amended or deleted.

Control

On announcement of a proposed transaction it may appear that the transaction will give the purchasing company control of the target company, that is, a share ownership greater than 50%. If subsequent information contradicts this, the recorded values will be amended or deleted.

Revisions from respondents

Very occasionally respondents revise the values that they have previously supplied to us. The revised values are those used to create the aggregates.

Analysing average revisions between provisional and final estimates can provide an indication of reliability in an initial statistic. Provisional statistics may be based on less information than is available for final statistics as they have been processed more quickly to meet the demand of customers. By looking at these average revisions it can help us determine whether early estimates are consistently under- or over-estimating the later figures. A test is subsequently performed on these average revisions to determine if they are statistically different from zero. Revisions that are not statistically significant imply that an average revision might be non-zero simply through random effects.

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9. Response rates

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11. Quality and methodology

The Mergers and Acquisitions Quality and Methodology Information report contains important information on:

  • the strengths and limitations of these data and how it compares with related data

  • uses and users of these data

  • how the output was created

  • the quality of the output including the accuracy of these data

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12. Background notes

The cross-borders acquisitions and mergers survey (M&A) data are used in the compilation of the estimates of foreign direct investment (FDI). These data meet the needs of FDI by collecting data on all acquisitions which lead to a holding in excess of 10% of the issued share capital. The M&A estimates feed into the UK Balance of Payments and Financial Accounts, for which there is an EU legal requirement. Individual transaction information is also used to estimate the counterpart in “portfolio” investment flows for monthly Balance of Payments.

Data collected are also used in updating business structures and country of ownership codes on the inter-departmental business register (IDBR). The IDBR is a comprehensive list of UK businesses that is used by government for statistical purposes.

Feedback from users has indicated that the information received from the M&A survey has a high degree of relevance across many user groups, meets the vast majority of user needs, and all information currently collected and published is used.

Notable M&A transactions

Listings of notable M&A transactions with deal values of £100 million and above are provided in Sections 3, 4, and 5. The information shown is taken from each relevant company’s press release which is available within the public domain. A direct link to each press release is provided. Should a company request that details of the transaction be kept confidential then the deal is excluded. However, the values are included in the aggregate tables. Occasionally, therefore, a large deal may be missing (suppressed) from the lists so it is best to regard these tables as an indication of the ranking of deals rather than a completely exhaustive listing.

Press reported figures for M&A transactions often differ to some extent from those supplied by companies to us and it is the latter which are used in compiling statistical aggregates in Tables 1 to 10. Included in the prices quoted in the tables of significant transactions is the total published price paid for the company excluding any assumed debt where known. Deferred payments are included in the reported price even if the payment is made in a different quarter.

Definition of M&A transactions

Mergers are acquisitions in which all or part of the payment is made in shares, such that the shareholders of the two companies become shareholders of a new, combined company group.

Demergers are disposals where a company group divides into two or more separate companies, in such a way that the shareholders of the restructured companies remain the same, or retain the equivalent value shareholding in one of the newly independent companies. Demergers are included in the statistics within disposals.

Acquisitions are transactions which involve one company purchasing the ordinary shares of a second company (“target company”). A target company is usually of a smaller size than the company undertaking the purchase.

Disposal is a term used to describe the action when a company or organisation sells or liquidates the ordinary shares of a second company (“target company”).

Cross-border acquisitions denote transactions where a company in one country acquires, either directly or indirectly, a controlling interest in a company in another country.

Direct transactions are those where a company acquires a controlling interest in another company.

Indirect transactions are those where a company uses an existing foreign subsidiary to acquire a controlling interest in a company resident in another country. The acquiring foreign intermediate company may be located in the same country in which the acquisition is being made or in a different country.

Acquisitions within the UK by other UK companies denote mergers and acquisitions involving only UK-registered companies.

Where the acquired company was a subsidiary of another company the transaction is classified as a sale between company groups.

The phrase “acquisitions in the UK by UK companies” refer to deals where the ultimate ownership remains in the UK. This heading does not cover the total number or value of deals where a UK company is the acquirer. When a foreign company acquires a UK company through one of its existing UK subsidiaries or a UK-registered special purpose vehicle that deal is shown as part of the data under “acquisitions in the UK by foreign companies”.

Acquisition of independent companies

The acquisition of an independent company means the purchase of a company in its entirety – the company itself and all of its subsidiaries

Acquisition of subsidiary companies

The acquisition of a subsidiary company means the purchase of part of a company.

Financing

This bulletin provides details of the application of funds to effect mergers and acquisitions and the proceeds raised from disinvestments and demergers.

For indirect foreign transactions there is the added complication of considering the movements of funds either as capital injection or in the form of loans between parent companies and their foreign subsidiaries making the acquisition. Occasionally, the foreign subsidiary obtains the funds required partly or entirely outside the UK from sources such as:

  • own resources

  • borrowing from banks and other local sources

  • share, bond and other capital or notes issued abroad

Also, a transaction may be funded by more than one method.

Definitions of geographic and economic areas

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13. Disclosure

It is sometimes necessary to suppress figures for certain items in order to avoid disclosing information about an individual business. Further information on why data are suppressed is available in our Disclosure Control Policy.

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14. Discussing ONS business statistics online

There is a Business and Trade Statistics community on the StatsUserNet website. StatsUserNet is the Royal Statistical Society’s interactive site for users of official statistics. The community objectives are to promote dialogue and share information between users and producers of official business and trade statistics about the structure, content and performance of businesses within the UK. Anyone can join the discussions by registering through either of the links.

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15. Media contact details

Telephone: Media Relations Office +44(0) 845 6041858

Emergency on-call: +44 (0) 7867 906553

Email: media.relations@ons.gov.uk

Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available on the UK Statistics Authority website.

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16. Annex 1: Changes to how mergers and acquisitions statistics are collected and produced

In March 2018, we changed the processes we use to identify and collect data on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving UK companies. Part of this change was to review available commercial data sources to identify M&A deals. Bureau van Dijk’s Zephyr database is now used as the starting point for our M&A deal identification, replacing the previous labour-intensive ‘press scrutiny’ process, while also reducing the reliance on survey questionnaires.

Reduction in number of M&A survey questionnaires

Prior to March 2018, the M&A survey questionnaires were dispatched daily by us as soon as an M&A deal was identified as legally completed. The population of transactions was identified through a process of scrutinising the financial press, specialised publications and other internet sources. Relevant deals are characterised as being worth over £1 million, having UK involvement, and resulting in a change of ordinary share ownership of more than 10% (50% for domestic) of the issued share capital. Deals identified as meeting these requirements were sent a survey questionnaire to collect deal information and values.

Since April 2018, only large deals, classified as transactions worth over £100 million, continue to receive a survey questionnaire. Our analysis revealed that, while fewer of these large deals take place, their value generally dominates headline estimates, usually making up around 90% of the total value. Thus, accurate company data of these deals will be ascertained to ensure retention of granular, high quality data. Deal values below £100 million will be taken directly from Bureau van Dijk’s Zephyr database – which are based on information from the public domain. Transactions worth less than £100 million make up the majority of deal numbers, but only a small proportion of headline values. Using a combination of survey data for high-value transactions and Bureau van Dijk data for lower-value transactions means the M&A bulletin continues to report on transactions worth over £1 million and that result in a change of ordinary share ownership of more than 50%.

Improvements in M&A coverage

Previously, coverage for the M&A survey was limited to information gathered from the financial press, specialised publications, websites specialising in M&A and websites of businesses regularly engaged in M&A activity. These include The Financial Times, Guardian Business News, InvestEgate, Insider Media, NewsNow, Growth Business UK. Bureau van Dijk are adding over 100,000 new deals annually resulting in an ever-growing database of current and historical transactions. Analysis of this new data source revealed that, compared with ONS, Bureau van Dijk identifies more M&A deals involving British companies. Utilising Bureau van Dijk data therefore is expected to result an increase in the number of deals reported; therefore, caution is advised when comparing the number of deals reported in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) and thereafter with historical numbers. While the increased coverage will also affect deal values, the effect is expected to be small, as the previous process had sufficient coverage of the largest transactions that generally dominate headline estimates.

New imputation methods for missing M&A deal values

In the past we collected information on deals from companies directly involved in the transactions. Survey questionnaires were sent to relevant parties, and these were returned, queried and verified. In cases where surveys were not returned in a timely manner, deals were given alternative values found in the public domain, before revising in a future period once the survey questionnaire was returned. Since Bureau van Dijk relies on press releases and news sources to gather information about M&A deals, there are instances where the value of a transaction is undisclosed to the public. Our analysis reveals that for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2018, roughly 43% of viable Bureau van Dijk deals displayed no deal value, a percentage expected to remain stable for future quarters (47% in 2015, 45% in 2016, 43% in 2017). In these cases, it is necessary to assign a value to the deal by having an uplift factor to weight available deal values to account for deals with no deal values. The weight is used to calculate a value to distribute across the missing deals evenly within country groups. This process is conducted separately for domestic, inward and outward deals, as the average values for deals is not uniform across these domains.

As M&A results are published by country groups, the process of imputing values takes special care to address this consideration. Due to the unequal number of deals with missing values originating from different country groups, some of which have no populated cases, the method of estimating for empty deal values relies on alternative country groupings. Outward M&A deals are estimated according to whether they originate from the United States or elsewhere, while Inward deals have grouped Asian and African deals into one category, but retain all other country groups. Domestic deals, all originating in the UK, have remained grouped together. Using these alternative groupings, we can ascertain potential values for deals in which no financial information was available.

Analysis of this imputation method suggests that the imputed deal averages provide good deal estimation at country group levels and are in line with actual deal value averages determined by Bureau van Dijk, albeit at a slightly lower level. While the use of commercially-available data has made the use of imputation necessary, the method is only required for a relatively small proportion of headline M&A values (less than 10%).

Smaller M&A revisions expected

Previously, revisions to published data took place on a quarterly and annual basis. These mainly affected revisions in the number of deals, with relatively smaller revisions to values. There were multiple reasons for revisions, such as information from our other surveys (like the FDI survey), corrections to data supplied by the company themselves, late response, late identification of deals, or unsuitable deal criteria for M&A activity. Moving to Bureau van Dijk to collect information on most M&A deals and imputing any missing deal values, means that only large value deals of over £100 million will require the dispatch of survey questionnaires. As fewer survey questionnaires will be distributed and returned, we anticipate that even fewer large revisions will take place, since values for the smaller transactions are readily available. There is also an expectation that revisions to the number of M&A deals will be reduced, since all transactions are now identified from one comprehensive source at an early stage. Under the previous process, new deals from multiple sources were often identified after the preliminary estimates were produced.

Conclusions and looking ahead

The use of Bureau van Dijk data for M&A has changed the sampling, coverage, imputation and revision processes for this survey. We expect an improvement in coverage, with associated increases in the number and value of M&A deals, although some of these deals will be produced using imputation methods where deal values are unavailable in the public domain. Statistics presented in the M&A bulletin for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2018 were based on a mixture of old and new processes: data for January and February were collected with the traditional methods, while March data used the new processes outlined in this note. Statistics presented in the Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018 bulletin and thereafter fully incorporate the new data sources and methods described. We will continue to monitor the impact of these changes on our M&A estimates going forward, which we expect will ultimately benefit the quality of our statistics.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Sami Hamroush
sami.hamroush@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 (0)1633 455087