EIGHT TIMES More Foreign Investment In UK Firms Following Brexit Vote

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LONDON (Reuters) – Overseas buyers lured by a plunge in the pound are looking to snare British companies on the cheap, ensuring a steady flow of deals since Britain voted to leave the European Union and defying expectations of an M&A drought. Almost 60 transactions totalling $34.5 billion have been struck by foreign companies for British firms since June 23, according to Thomson Reuters data, compared with 79 deals amounting to $4.3 billion in the month leading up to the vote. This activity – dominated by Japanese group SoftBank’s $32 billion swoop for chip designer ARM Holdings – has defied warnings that dealmaking could dry up for a period if Britain backed Brexit, given uncertainty surrounding risks to the economy and access to the EU single market. The list of British takeovers could grow after the summer, according to bankers who say they are working on possible bids on behalf of foreign companies interested in UK targets. The SoftBank deal was hailed by the government as a sign of UK economic resilience, prompting new Prime Minister Theresa May to declare the country “open for business”. But M&A bankers said some of the post-vote takeovers had more to do with the