MERGERS and acquisitions are on the up, according to experts in the field.

Business advice firm Deloitte said its corporate finance advisory team completed 16 deals worth more than £1bn in the first six months of 2011, including Betfred’s £185m acquisition of Tote and the sale of Crown Paints to Hempel.

Meanwhile, law firm DLA Piper’s 16-strong corporate team in West Yorkshire completed 12 deals with an aggregate value of almost £215m last month.

Jonathan Procter, head of corporate at DLA Piper in Leeds, said many firms realised that a relatively flat economy could restrict organic growth and were identifying opportunities for growth through acquisition. In other cases, overseas businesses were actively investing in the UK.