Foreign investment in British companies hit a six-year high of £23.4 billion (R375bn) in the second quarter as the economy started to grow, though the bulk came from one deal – Glencore’s takeover of Xstrata, data showed yesterday.
Swiss-based commodity trader Glencore in May acquired full ownership of Swiss mining company Xstrata for $30bn (R310bn), creating one of the largest diversified mining groups.
Including that deal, foreign companies spent the highest sum to buy British firms in the three months to June since the second quarter of 2007, up from just £3.5bn in the first quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said yesterday.
The ONS added that there were signs of a broader pick-up in foreign interest in British companies as well.
“The mergers and acquisitions market may be recovering as investors renew their appetite for investment. This follows a long period in which companies have focused on paying off debts, improving cash flow and restructuring their balance sheets.” – Reuters