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British companies 'set to choose M&A'

14 February 2011

Market analysts have predicted an upsurge in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving British companies this year.

The trend for strong balance sheets, coupled with the recent rebound in corporate share prices, is expected to drive a boom in deal-making, the Observer reports.

A list of potential takeover targets has been drawn up by Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), with Burberry, Tate & Lyle, Premier Oil and Hargreaves Lansdown among those tipped for M&A activity.

Jane Coffey, head of UK equities at RLAM, said many firms will look to achieve growth by pursuing deals after a period of "aggressively cutting costs" in response to the financial crisis.

She told the newspaper: "Directors have to do something with the money: it's pointless keeping cash on the balance sheet when the returns are minuscule."

Head of UK equities at Schroders Richard Buxton added that he expects to see "a lot more action in the UK" for M&A during 2011.

Last week, Colin Banfield of Citigroup in Hong Kong told the Financial Times that M&A volumes in Asia could grow by up to 30 per cent this year.

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Categories: Commercial

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