Prism’s Peter Watson comments on the latest M&A Statistics from the ONS.

Frankly we’re astonished at the latest statistics recording Mergers & Acquisitions published. The sum of 73 domestic and cross border acquisitions in the UK in Q2 2014 seems, to us, to be a significant understatement. In the ICT sector alone (the sector in which we specialise) we recorded 89 UK/UK transactions in the quarter (cf 37 in the UK as a whole according to the ONS). Not all the deals disclose values, but even taking this into account the figure of 73 looks very odd. We can’t automatically dismiss the trends recorded but presume that there is a significant time lag.

Our own experience is that M&A is flourishing, with banks much more willing to lend, and generally strong corporate balance sheets.