The region's deal market is on a stable footing as major property buyouts contributed to a sharp rise in investment value, new research suggests.
A report by Experian said that 145 merger and acquisition (M&A) and equity capital market (ECM) deals were transacted in the Midlands during the first quarter of 2014, an increase on 142 in Q1 2013.
The combined value of these deals rose by 227 per cent, from £672 million to £2.18 billion year-on-year, although this was heavily affected by a brace of deals by listed investor Intu Properties.
The company, which owns the Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester and Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent, acquired a 50 per cent stake for £408 million in the Westfield Merry Hill Centre, in Dudley , and bought Derby's Westfield Centre for £390 million.
Other notable deals in the first quarter of this year were Sanctuary Housing Association, in Worcester, securing £350m in venture capital funding and pub chain Mitchells & Butlers selling its Birmingham HQ to LaSalle Investment Management for £51 million.
The most active financial advisers of Q1 2014 in the Midlands were BDO and PwC but BDO topped the table due to the higher value of its transactions.
Rothschild, along with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS, topped Experian's value table by virtue of having worked on the Westfield and Merry Hill buyouts.
Gateley retained its place as the top legal adviser, working on nine deals, ahead of Eversheds (eight) and DLA Piper (seven).
Birmingham-headquartered Wragge & Co. led the legal table for deal values, advising on a total of £364 million worth of transactions although this included the Sanctuary Housing funding.
It was followed by Burness Paull (£350 million) and King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin (£200 million).
The main industries participating in Q1 2014 deals were manufacturing and wholesale, retail and repair, representing 18.45 per cent each, followed closely by professional activities with 16.97 per cent.
Birmingham was the most active town or city across the Midlands with 18.75 per cent of all companies involved being based in the city.