The UK Takeover Panel recently published its Annual Report for 2013/14. The Director General of the Panel noted that activity in 2013 was “subdued”, and that the level of public takeovers in the UK has shown a year on year decline for seven consecutive years. For example, 61 offeree companies went into an offer period in 2013/14, compared with 81 in 2012/13.
However, as acknowledged by the Director General and evidenced by market activity, there has been a pick-up in 2014. The first half of the year has seen an increase in public M&A activity on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and a corresponding increase in deal value, compared to the same period in 2013. The majority of the offers were recommended - hostile offers continue to be rare - and there were no competing offers for target companies during that period.