2015 was a record year for Mergers & Acquisitions with deal volumnes up by more than 40 percent on the previous year, totalling $4.6 trillion. It was also good for the people who print the documents as Hayley Platt reports when she goes behind the scenes of financial printers Black & Callow.
Black & Callow have been keeping their printers busy. It's one of a handful of major firms that specialises in printing financial documents. After the 2008 financial crisis its order books went into meltdown - it lost 20 percent of its business overnight. But it's now enjoying a boom - thanks to a record number of mergers & acquisitions. Tim Black is joint MD (SOUNDBITE) (English) BLACK & CALLOW, MD, TIM BLACK, SAYING: "M&A and equity markets probably make up 75/80 percent of our business. Fortunately with record M&A levels and the really good capital markets activity we ended up having a lot better year then we could have expected at the time, it certainly lived up to expectations." There were 40 percent more mega deals in 2015 than the previous year. Together totalling more than $4 trillion dollars. Shell's proposed purchase of BG was one of them. Black & Callow printed the 'intention of offer' document which went out to 10,500 shareholders - that's three quarters of a million pages. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BLACK & CALLOW, MD, TIM BLACK, SAYING: "Behind the scenes there's an awful lot of activity just dealing with the logistics to get everything ready just for that moment. The typesetters here are working 24/7." In 2015 Black & Callow doubled its turnover to £5 million. But Matthew Beesley, from Henderson Global Investors, says they may soon have to find new outlets. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS, HEAD OF GLOBAL EQUITIES, MATTHEW BEESLEY, SAYING: "With volatility rising, the economic outlook increasingly uncertain and undoubtedly the cost of financing deals also on the rise, it would be our guess that this year it would be less meaningful from an M&A perspective relative to 2015." Tim and his business partner Chris Callow say they aren't worried. Deals are still being done. And perhaps the energy sector will provide more business - some are predicting consolidation if oil prices remain low.