There were only 15 mergers and aquisitions in the last quarter despite a 38% increase in deal value

The mergers and acquisitions market has picked up by 38% in the three months to July, according to data from accountant Grant Thornton.

According to its Construction Deals Tracker report, the value of deals rose to £34.7m, which compares to £25.2m in the preceding three-month period.

Despite the rise in volume, the number of deals done fell 60% from 24 to 15.

Both deal values and volumes were down from the same period in 2008, which saw 28 deals done worth £144.9m.

Kathryn Hiddleston, head of construction at Grant Thornton said: "A lot of the deals in our index are for small amounts and for accelerated transactions. There is still an absence of the big bold deals, which we had seen much more of before the credit crunch.”

"There may be a creeping appetite among certain financial institutions to help fund leveraged transactions, but this is yet to feed through to the execution of high-value construction deals."

The most recent high-profile deal in the sector was Vinci’s acquisition of the East Anglian and property divisions of Haymills.