Major Wiltshire deals inflate annual figures

Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) activity in the South West has soared by 760 per cent in the first quarter, according to a report from Experian.

A total of 125 deals were recorded this quarter - nine per cent fewer than the 138 announced last year - though total value was boosted by a £2.9bn mega deal, the region’s largest in three years.

That came as Swindon-based Nationwide Building Society agreed cash terms in March to acquire Virgin Money. Meanwhile, in the transport sector, US firm GXO Logistics offered £764m in cash for Wincanton, after French shipping group CMA CGM had previously agreed a £605m deal.