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Fastest start to a year for UK takeovers since 2008

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 07/02/2021 Lucy Burton
a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: The Asos takeover of Topshop was among the deals - Reuters © Reuters The Asos takeover of Topshop was among the deals - Reuters

The UK has had its busiest start to the year for takeovers since the 2008 financial crisis despite the Covid lockdown.

The value of takeover deals involving a UK company hit $38.8bn (£28.2bn) from Jan 1 to Feb 5, according to Dealogic – a high not seen since the 2008 crash.

In recent weeks, Asos has unveiled a takeover of Topshop and three other brands from Sir Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia empire for £265m, French Connection has received two takeover approaches and Aggreko, which will supply power equipment for the Tokyo Olympic Games, has confirmed a potential £2.2bn takeover offer from a private equity consortium.

Video: Alibaba Sells $5 Billion of Bonds in 4-Part Deal (Bloomberg)

Retailer JD Sports last week raised £464.2m, days after it announced the takeover of Baltimore-based DTLR Villa, and said it was on the lookout for further acquisitions. Many are eyeing takeovers of currently closed businesses that may well see a surge once lockdown restrictions are eased.

“People have fully grasped that deals can be done, and done quickly, under lockdown,” said Nick O’Donnell, who advises on deals for law firm Baker McKenzie.

“The strange outcome is that we find ourselves in a very counter-intuitive place where the possibility of a return to more normality later this year is now the largest known unknown.”

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