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Virtual Event: Deal Drivers United Kingdom - A spotlight on M&A trends in Q1 2020 and beyond

Watch Mergermarket’s Virtual Event on the UK M&A market outlook and the impact of Covid-19 here.

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What the idea of M&A now means for UK’s corporates and dealmakers as we begin to navigate some calmer waters on the back of what has been a truly catastrophic public health and economic crisis both here in the UK and around the world.

At last Thursday’s mergermarket virtual event, we invited some top guests from the consultancy, legal, and technology sectors to have a conversation on the outlook of the UK M&A market.

Per Mergermarket data, 21% of deals announced in 1Q20 were pending completion – representing 90% of a total GBP 49.3bn in announced deal value in the quarter. As such, if KKR’s acquisition of Pennon’s Viridor for a chunky GBP 4bn in mid-March and Blackstone’s GBP 4.6bn buyout of iQ Student Accommodation are the exception – with this data in mind, Ryan Goud, the reporter at Mergermarket, started the discussion by presenting series of questions: how the UK M&A market will bounce back, what's the new normal, and how will the M&A market look twelve months from now?

Private equity was a key talking point at the event. Richard Moulton, Co-Head of the Global Corporate and M&A Team at Eversheds Sutherland and Michel Driessen, Senior Partner, Transaction Advisory Services at EY, provided their first hand and in-depth analysis around the question “What role will private equity and supposed ‘record’ sums of dry powder play in stimulating the recovery of private M&A?”. They acknowledged the current setbacks but remained optimistic. Jonathan Hughes, VP of Sales for UK & Ireland at Datasite, was confident that we will see an increasing number of deals, especially in Q3 and Q4 this year.

The panel also provided sector-by-sector analysis, discussing the question “Will the M&A sector lynchpins – TMT, healthcare/pharma and industrials – continue to form the mainstay of M&A activity in a post-COVID-19 world?”.

At this virtual event, we had the invaluable opportunity to interact with more than 400 live audiences. And to understand their feelings on the current UK M&A market, we proposed three live polling questions, and below are the answers.

Live polling questions:

The audience also threw some excellent questions into the live discussion asking about possible changes to deal structures due to the pandemic, and potential deal flow in the technology sector.

We are curating more virtual events and find out more about our upcoming virtual events here.

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