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Will the 2021 takeover surge continue?

After M&A picked up in the second half of 2020, London-listed shares continue to attract the attentions of private equity. Alex Newman, Nilushi Karunaratne, Harriet Clarfelt and James Norrington report
Will the 2021 takeover surge continue?
  • With UK equities looking cheap relative to their global counterparts, private equity has been on a shopping spree
  • The financial services sector has proved a particularly fertile hunting ground for takeovers

It has been a busy six weeks for UK equity markets. The new year has already seen not just a flurry of IPOs – including bootmaker Dr Martens (DOCS) and online greetings card retailer Moonpig (MOON) – but also a surge in takeover activity.

Nine takeover bids have been announced since the start of the year (see table), with a total value of almost £22bn. There are four firm offers that are being recommended by the companies’ boards for shareholder approval – including the $4.7bn (£3.4bn) proposal to purchase jet servicing group Signature Aviation (SIG) – while others such as portable power specialist Aggreko (AGK) are still thrashing out the terms of a potential deal.

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