M&A deals tumble to record low

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The number of domestic merger and acquisitions involving UK companies fell to a record low at the start of the year amid continuing economic uncertainty.

There were just 24 such deals in the first quarter of 2013, down from 61 at the end of last year and the lowest figure since 1969, when quarterly data began to be collected by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the total value of deals rose from £700 million to £1 billion as two big transactions alone added up to £300m.

Data released by the ONS also showed the total number of domestic and cross-border M&A deals involving UK companies during the first quarter slumped by 61 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The value of inward investment by foreign companies increased from £2bn in the final three months of 2012 to £3.2bn at the start of this year, but the number of transactions almost halved, dropping from 23 to 12.