The UK deals market remains in good health despite the gathering headwinds facing the economy and Brexit-related uncertainty. The strength of the market is buoyed by an unceasing demand for high quality businesses from both trade buyers and private equity, with buyers willing to pay very high multiples.
Strategic buyers continue to hunt for businesses with a track record in making solid profits, have good prospects that are backed up by a robust plan and model, and are being led by a quality management team. And, as we’ve seen over the course of the last year, there is particular interest in those businesses using cutting edge technology to disrupt a market.
Our UK M&A team has acted as lead financial advisor on over 60 deals in 2017 with a number of notable trends:
In the past year on the deals we led, 40% involved international buyers, 30% were UK trade deals and 30% involved private equity.
Looking ahead, I expect confidence to be tested as margins are squeezed by inflation, rising input costs and softening consumer spending. However, we know that businesses are still considering the spectrum of private equity, trade and IPO when exploring a prospective fundraising option or exit route. We are seeing business owners seeking to raise funds for growth or de-risk by selling in full or in part, and the funding available for deals currently remains very strong, so we certainly don’t expect transaction activity to tail off in the short to medium term.
For further details on our deals by sector & region, please follow the links below.
Head of Corporate Finance, UK