Britain Set for Deals Boom With Firms ‘Very Cheap,’ Says L&G CEO

The U.K. can expect a surge in deals activity this year as companies are still “incredibly” undervalued, according to the head of the country’s largest life insurer and investment manager.

Legal & General Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Nigel Wilson, a long-term champion of investing aggressively in parts of the U.K. that have fallen behind, urged firms to get behind a push for more local corporate spending.

“There is going to be a lot more M&A in the U.K., because U.K. companies look very cheap,” Wilson said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday. That’s despite the pound rising more than 7% against the U.S. dollar over the past 12 months.

Wilson encouraged the government to move ahead with plans to change rules for initial public offerings, saying the country could not be “putting our head in the sand” on how to attract top technology and biotech companies.

He was speaking after Legal & General reported a 3% fall in operating profit to 2.2 billion pounds ($3 billion) and an unchanged dividend for 2020. It had already warned investors in November of a “pause year” with payouts likely to be in line with 2019.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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