More companies are executing takeovers as the market gains in confidence

The first quarter of the year has seen the number of construction M&A deals almost double as some firms recover confidence.

Research from Grant Thornton showed that there were 28 deals done in the first quarter of 2011, compared to 15 in the final three months on 2010.

The value of these deals shot up from £161m to £2.01bn, although the bulk of this latter figure was accounted for by the mammoth £1.6bn merger between Lafarge Cement UK and Anglo American.

Nonetheless, even discounting this deal, the rise in M&A value has more than doubled, the research said.

Rupert Rawcliffe, corporate finance director at Grant Thornton said: “Despite concerns about a slowdown in the construction sector’s recovery, we are seeing a lift in the number of deals being done.

“The market is becoming more confident, with UK businesses looking to acquire strategically to either enhance skillsets or to gain critical mass in new markets and we are still see strong overseas demand for quality UK businesses in the sector,” he said.