By Claire West

During the first half of 2010 almost one in ten (9.4%) of UK mergers and acquisitions involved distressed businesses.

Of the 1491 deals completed in the UK, 141 involved companies acquired out of administration or other formal insolvency procedure, according to research by Experian Corpfin on behalf of insolvency trade body R3. The total value of all distressed deals in the first six months of the year amounted to close to £519m (£518.505m).

Steven Law, R3 President, said: “Insolvent businesses continue to feature in a significant proportion of deals within the UK. The number of distressed deals has more than doubled since 2008 when one in twenty five deals involved an insolvent business. The recession may have officially ended but distressed businesses and assets are continuing to come onto the market.

“For buyers with access to funding, there is the opportunity to extend their portfolio while values remain subdued. For the businesses themselves, an acquisition represents a fresh start and a chance to secure the jobs of the workforce.”