In the first quarter of 2013, the total value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the UK was up compared to the same quarter of 2012, according to M&A tracking platform Mergermarket. The total value of M&A deals stood at $35.8bn, which is a 47% increase on the previous year. The total number of deals was down by 23% in the same period.

Deal size was low, with 210 of the 213 deals made in the quarter valued between $7m and $700m. The largest deal in the quarter was US cable operator Liberty Global's $30.4bn acquisition of Virgin Media. The deal accounted for nearly 60% of the quarter's total UK deal value.

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In the same quarter, M&A activity by UK-based companies reached its lowest point in the past decade. The value of such deals was down my 53% to $4.6bn, compared to the first period of 2012. This is the lowest quarter total since Mergermarket started tracking UK M&A in 2001.

As a result of the Liberty-Virgin deal, the media sector was the top grossing M&A sector in the UK during the first quarter of 2013. It was followed by financial services, transport and business services, accounting for 7.1%, 6.6% and 5.3% of total deal value, respectively.