The flag of the Twenty-First Century Fox Inc is seen waving at the company headquarters in the Manhattan borough in New York June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
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Britain avoided a collapse in mergers and acquisitions activity after the shock Brexit vote as foreign companies used sterling's spectacular devaluation against the U.S. dollar to snap up British companies, Thomson Reuters data shows. British M&A totaled $177.5 billion in 2016, down sharply from the record $394.8 billion reached in 2015 – a year when the U.K. data was skewed by two of three biggest global deals – but was in line with the longer five-year trend.Behind the headline numbers, there was another clear trend: foreign buyers – such as Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox – shopping with dollars for bargains while domestic U.K.-to-U.K. dealmaking fell off sharply.There were just 1,355 domestic deals – the lowest figure in nearly two decades of Thomson Reuters data.2015 was a record year for dealmaking involving U.K.-listed companies thanks to a series of jumbo deals including Anheuser-Busch Inbev's $110.3 billion acquisition of SABMiller and Shell's $53 billion merger with BG Group.Goldman Sachs, the world's top dealmaker, was top again in Britain's league tables, followed by JPMorgan and Lazard which rose to third place in Britain above Deutsche Bank, UBS, Centerview Partners LLC and Morgan Stanley, Thomson Reuters data showed.
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