What's Happening In M&A?

Posted: Aug 18, 2017
Nigel Barratt

The latest M&A transactions data indicates that UK deal volumes are down in the first half of 2017, against an exceptionally strong 2016. HURST analysis of Experian MarketIQ data indicates that UK volumes fell by 14.8% to 3,276 during the first half of 2017. The fall has been attributed to a reduction in mid-market volume (£10-£100m), but both small, large and mega deal volumes have increased.

The first half decline in volumes may well have been down to a sluggish start to the year on the back of economic and political uncertainty following last year’s Brexit vote and UK general election. The UK remains one of the top investment destinations for both international and domestic companies, so it will be interesting to see how deal volumes perform during the second half of 2017.

What of value? Of those deals where value was disclosed publicly, the data indicates that values are on the rise, although skewed somewhat by the large/mega deals.Following the national trend, deal volumes in the North West were also down in the first half of 2017, against an exceptional 2016. Where deal values have been made public, they are 20% higher than 2016, again though, somewhat driven by the mega deals.

Although the overall deal volume in down slightly, HURST is experiencing strong demand for high quality businesses. we’re seeing strong deal flow and experiencing high levels of interest from both trade acquirers and private equity, particularly in the following sectors:

  • Manufacturing, particularly food & drink
  • Travel (particularly at the luxury end of the market)
  • Sporting events
  • B2B IT services
  • Media & Creative industries
  • Business services and facilities management (particularly compliance services)
  • Waste & recycling (particularly those contributing to the circular economy)

If you are considering the sale of your business or undertaking a management buy-out, particularly if you operate in any of the above sectors, then we're well placed to help guide you through the process. 

If you would like to find out about the level of acquisition and investment appetite in your sector, then get in touch. You can call us on 0161 832 6633 or email CF@hurst.co.uk