Comcast’s £22bn bid for Sky and Takeda’s £46bn swoop on Shire – both of which were made official on 25 April – mark a first for the UK’s blue-chip market. Never before have two FTSE 100 companies been subject to a takeover offer on the same day.
The bids also form part of a rush of dealmaking that has swept the global financial markets this year. In the first three months of 2018, $1.12 trillion-worth (£823bn) of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) were agreed, according to data from Dealogic, beating pre-financial crisis highs. And global economic growth, the availability of cheap borrowing and strong stock prices – which can be used as currency in mergers – mean the pace of M&A looks likely to continue.
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