Brexit Seen Leading to European M&A Erosion, Intralinks Says

  • Most dealmakers surveyed expect Brexit to have negative impact
  • Value of assets in Europe would drop if Britain voted to leave

The level of mergers and acquisitions activity across Europe will be threatened if Britain votes to leave the European Union, spreading the risk to economies on the continent, according to a survey of dealmakers.

About two-thirds of M&A professionals expect the value of European assets to be eroded if Britain leaves the EU, according to Intralinks Holdings Inc. This could have wider implications on the European economy, particularly in countries such as Germany, which rely heavily on cross-border deals from China, the firm said.

“There’s clearly a consensus among dealmakers that a ‘Brexit’ will lead to chaos for European M&A,” Philip Whitchelo, vice president for product marketing and strategy at Intralinks, said in a statement. “A ‘Leave’ vote from the U.K. could severely impact all of Europe’s assets, with foreign buyers bidding less for them if the U.K. pulls out of Europe. This could have drastic consequences on the European economy –- and of course the U.K. economy -– for a number of years.”

Intralinks, which provides technology that helps companies share and distribute content securely, surveyed 1,421 professionals in the industry worldwide this month.

To be sure, 80 percent of global dealmakers and 84 percent of those in the U.K. believe Britain will not exit the EU, according to Intralinks. Polls are less optimistic for the remain camp. Results from six of seven EU membership referendum surveys this week indicated that voters would choose to leave, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One survey showed a tie.

In a similar survey released this week, Merrill Corp. found that more than half of participants thought a Brexit would make U.K. businesses less attractive to overseas acquirers, including potential buyers in the EU. Merrill, which provides secure content sharing and communications, surveyed 600 respondents in 35 countries.

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