Merger splurge

It is fair to say that the market has been a hive of merger activity over the past 12 to 18 months. Since the latter half of 2011 there have been 17 mergers, bolt-ons or tie-ups announced in the UK. Some, like the union between Clyde & Co and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, shook the market. Others, like the merger of Wedlake Bell and Cumberland Ellis, caused only a ripple, but still combined to create an arresting trend.

On the back of this wave of consolidation, The Lawyer has produced a handy guide detailing who has got together with whom and analysing the prospects for success for each merger. For anyone unclear about what constitutes a successful merger, former Dell Computers CEO Kevin Rollins summed it up nicely, saying: “It would have to be that the companies are stronger financially, that they took market share, and they are on a very steady footing in terms of their performance.”

It is worth adding that our figure for the number of mergers does not include moves made by UK firms abroad, such as Herbert Smith’s merger with Freehills, nor does it include aborted merger talks, such as those betwee DWF and Cobbetts, Bond Pearce and Maclay Murray & Spens, and Dundas & Wilson and Bircham Dyson Bell.

One thing’s for certain, there will be plenty more merger activity to come.


Also on

  • Newcastle International Airport has been ordered to pay more than £500,000 of Eversheds’ legal costs after unsuccessfully suing the firm for negligence

  • General Electric is finalising a process to review its European panels

  • And, The Lawyer takes a look at Chinese outbound M&A deals into Europe and the firms that got the most action