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UK M&A activity dropped in Q2, statistics office report shows

The total value of completed M&A involving British companies fell in the second quarter from the previous three-month period, driven by a sharp decline in inbound deals, the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics reported.

In the second quarter, the value of inward M&A deals — or foreign companies acquiring U.K. firms — totaled £6.5 billion, down by £15.8 billion from the £22.3 billion recorded in the first quarter.

Outward M&A deals, or acquisitions made abroad by U.K. companies, came in at £1.9 billion, down from £2.5 billion in the previous quarter. It was the lowest value of outbound deals since the third quarter of 2013, according to ONS.

The value of domestic M&A deals, or transactions between U.K. firms, declined on a quarterly basis for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016, falling to £4.0 billion in the second quarter from £6.0 billion in the preceding three-month period.

There were 182 completed inward M&A deals in the second quarter, along with 75 outward transactions and 244 domestic deals, according to ONS. Deals included in the report include those that have a transaction value of at least £1 million and resulted in a change of ultimate control of the target company.