ONS statistical bulletin
In Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2018, the total value of inward mergers and acquisitions (M&A) was £33.3bn, the highest value since Quarter 4 2016 (£85.2bn).
The total value of inward M&A for the whole of 2018 (Jan to Dec) was £71.1bn and is broadly explained by one very large successful acquisition. This was a sizeable increase on the value reported in 2017 (£35.2bn), yet considerably lower than the value recorded in 2016 (£190.0bn).
The value of outward M&A (UK companies acquiring foreign companies abroad) was £9.9bn in Quarter 4 2018, a sizeable increase on the value recorded in the previous quarter (£4.3bn).
In 2018, outward M&A was worth £22.7bn, a notable decline when compared with 2017 (£77.5bn).
Domestic M&A (UK companies acquiring other UK companies) was valued at £5.0bn in Quarter 4 2018 and was similar to the value (£5.2bn) reported in the same quarter of the previous year.
The total value for domestic M&A during 2018 was £26.5bn, the highest value recorded since 2008 (£36.5bn).