Charity mergers at lowest level for three years in 2018/19

The number of charity mergers fell to the lowest level for three years in 2018/19, with a fall of almost £1bn in the combined income of the charities involved, new figures show.

The latest Good Merger Index, which is released annually by the management consultancy Eastside Primetimers, says 58 mergers involving 116 organisations took place between 1 May 2018 and 30 April 2019.

This was a decline from the 81 mergers that took place in 2017/18 and was the lowest figure since the 54 mergers that occurred in 2015/16.

The combined income of the charities involved in mergers in 2018/19 was £374m, down from £1.3bn the previous year, researchers found.

The report says that 94 per cent of the combined value of the 58 mergers was concentrated in the top 20 charities involved in mergers.

The biggest deal was the merger of Breast Cancer Now and Breast Cancer Care, which was worth a combined £46.7m.

This was followed closely by the £40.9m merger of Humankind and Blenheim CDP, the report says.

More than half of the mergers involved health and social care charities, and 54 per cent involved charities with annual incomes of less than £1m.

The report also highlights continued issues with charities failing to consider, plan or think about mergers as part of their ongoing strategies, and having little awareness of how to go about doing so.

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