The second quarter saw a total of 509 deals completed, a slight increase from last quarter’s 499 deals, making the first half of the year the most active since 2012 with a total of 1,008 deals, reinforcing the renewed confidence which the M&A market is experiencing, according to BDO’s latest UK Private Company Price Index.

The index, which tracks the average multiple paid by private equity investors and strategic buyers, found that trade prices edged up from around 9.2x to 10x during the quarter, while the amount private equity paid was stable at around 10.8x, down from 10.9x in the previous quarter.

BDO said: “Both multiples are at a slightly higher level than the average post-recession multiples for trade (9.4x) and private equity (10.0x) buyers, which reflects the competition evident for good quality businesses.

“The UK’s newly elected one party Government and strong macroeconomic performance brings with it more stable market conditions and we expect to see this translate into a boost for the M&A market. All the ingredients are there to make 2015 the strongest year for post-recession deal making.”

Recent high profile deals in the sector include the £250m acquisition of Cote by BC Partners.