UK leads the way in cross-border M&A involving ambitious mid-sized companies in Europe

18 June 2024 / Insight posted in Report

British firms behind 30% of acquisitions, according to new Moore Global study

British companies are the most active acquirers in Europe, accounting for 29% of all deals according to the latest edition of Moore Global’s Compass report.

The report, which tracked more than 32,000 deals confirmed or completed in 2023, showed UK companies were involved in 70% more deals than France, and around four times as many as the other main European M&A players, Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands.

While the US is still the favoured hunting ground of British firms, Australia saw almost as much M&A activity last year, prompted by growing interest in the country’s extensive mineral resources.

Overall, North American companies remain the most active acquirers in the cross-border mid-market and are involved in more than 40% of all deals. While they have traditionally preferred buying British companies, the UK was only 8% of the US total in this year’s Compass report with Australia well out in front, accounting for 23% of American acquisitions.

John Cowie, Corporate Finance Partner at Moore Kingston Smith, a member of Moore Global Corporate Finance, commented: “Despite economic challenges, global uncertainty and the complexity of cross-border transactions, the Compass report demonstrates unequivocally that the UK remains a key player in the global M&A mid-market and consistently takes the lead in Europe.”

The latest Compass report, produced in partnership with the Vlerick Business School in Brussels, revealed almost 20,000 cross-border mergers and acquisitions have been sealed among mid-sized companies in the past five years.

Other key findings from the report:

  • 35% of all mid-market M&A deals are now cross-border – read more here
  • Cross-border transactions account for one-in-four of all M&A deals
  • Average deal size in the cross-border mid-market has grown from €42.4 million in 2019 to €47.4 million in 2023 – a rise of 12%
  • 62% of all cross-border M&A last year took place in the mid-market
  • More than half of cross-border mid-market transactions were focused on the IT and healthcare sectors

Contact our expert team if you would like to discuss how the report’s findings relate to you and your business.

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