Global mergers and acquisitions remain buoyant, according to latest figures which reveal that while values may be slightly down, deal numbers have modestly risen.
Figures from EY show that the first half of 2017 saw deal values of $1.4trn, a decline of 4% on the same period last year.
Meanwhile, dead volumes rose 4% to 18,363 against 17,642 for the first half of 2016.
One of the most high-profile deals of the year was Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods for $13.7bn.
EY said the fall in value could be attributed to a drop-off in the number of “mega deals” – those valued above $10bn.
However, EY pointed out that the environment for deals has become increasingly complex with some high-profile deals being blocked either by activist investors or national governments.
Steve Krouskos, EY global vice chair — transaction advisory services, said: “Geopolitical shifts and rising nationalism has brought additional M&A complexity, but companies are overcoming those barriers.
“Growth remains the number one priority, and M&A is a route to achieve that. However, given the changing environment, dealmakers may need a broader narrative around purpose and the concept of inclusive growth to keep all stakeholders onside.”
Despite Britain’s decision to exit the European Union, deals in the UK remain “robust”, according to EY, with deals up by 35%. Western Europe has also seen improvement, with values up by 21% on the same period last year.
Krouskos said: “The political landscape has undoubtedly brought added complexity to the M&A market in the UK and beyond, yet the imperative for growth is yielding deals regardless. Executives recognise that the UK is open for M&A business and navigating uncertainty is a boardroom necessity today.”