Intralinks, which is a provider of virtual data rooms produces a "Deal Flow Predictor" by tracking early stage M&A activity by looking at sell-side deals that have begun their diligence stage, or are being prepared. They reckon those deals are typically about six months away from any kind of public announcement. This is the data for H2 of 2018 just published. The chart below plots the year on year percentage growth in the number of announced M&A deals for the next two quarters.
It shows Europe (EMEA) to be pretty flat contrasting with real growth in the APAC region. Given that activity, certainly as far as we're experiencing it, is strong then stable represents a continuation of a pretty active deal market. That certainly is reflected in the number of companies in and around Cambridge and East Anglia that are preparing for transactions. And also the number of unsolicited approaches that we hear about. We're currently mandated to advise on a number of mini-auctions where companies have been approached by a few buyers at the same time. Those wouldn't necessarily be picked up by this survey which is driven by those preparing sale side deals - by its very nature a mini-auction which arises when a business has been approached by one, two or three buyers wouldn't get picked up.