Urge to merge

The UK’s much-vaunted vaccination roll-out and the government’s gradual lifting of Covid lockdown restrictions have boosted confidence among businesses and investors, as indicated by the FTSE 100 index’s steady recovery since the end of last year. These measures also encouraged deal-making in Q1 2021, as the number of mergers and acquisitions hit a 12-month high in March. But what does the future hold? Could special-purpose acquisition companies accelerate growth? And will environmental, social and corporate governance issues play a more prominent role in M&As?