Mergers and Acquisitions Up 15% in Value Terms in Wales; TOTAL NUMBER OF M&A DEALS FALLS FROM 154 TO 136

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Byline: RHODRI EVANS Assistant Business Editor rhodri.evans@walesonline.co.uk

HE number of mergers and acquisitions deals in Wales fell by more than 11% last year, according to figures released today by Experian.

Figures for 2012 collated by the global information company show that there were 136 M&A deals in Wales in the year to December 24 - down from 154 the previous year.

But while the overall number of deals fell, the total value of the deals in Wales during the period was almost 15% higher than last year. The figures showed that the value of deals in 2012 stood at PS2.9bn, up PS382m on 2011.

The figure has been boosted by larger deals, including the PS645m deal for the sale of Wales & West Utilities to a Chinese consortium led by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings.

Across the UK as a whole there was a 15% upturn in the number of very large transactions.

The number of very large 'mega deals' worth over PS1bn announced in 2012, increased from 34 in 2011 to 39 - worth a total of PS128bn.

The majority of these 'mega deal' transactions were cross-border in nature. It included the PS5bn acquisition of NDS Group, a Middlesex pay TV software firm, by California-based Cisco Systems Inc and the PS4.6bn investment of Nottingham-based retail chemist group Alliance Boots by US drugstore chain, Walgreen Co.

Across the UK, the overall number of mergers, acquisitions, flotations, rights issues and placements announced fell by 3%, from 4,683 transactions in 2011 to 4,543 in 2012. This was led primarily by a decline in deal-making in the final quarter of the year, which saw volumes down by 11% compared to Q4 2011. Thanks to the number of 'mega deals' however, the total value of deals increased by 4.8%, from PS231 billion in 2011 to PS242 billion in 2012.

Despite the fall in volume overall, the UK is performing well compared to the rest of Europe, which saw a 10. …