22 February 2018
On 15 February the Manchester corporate finance community gathered at the Midland Hotel for a review of the M&A world in 2017 and a look forward to what 2018 may have in store for both Manchester’s M&A community and M&A worldwide.
With two expert panels the discussion was interesting and lively, with the added bonus of the Investec zebra making an appearance to oversee the proceedings. The lunch was timed to coincide with the release of Experian’s North West and the Manchester Annual Corporate Finance Review 2017.
Experian’s review showed that UHY was once again in the top ten most active North West advisers with corporate finance partner David Kendrick making it into the top three most active individual advisers. UHY was also involved in one of the most noteworthy deals of 2017, advising Pentagon Motors on their £28m acquisition by Imperial Motors Ltd. of South Africa.
The review showed that 2017 saw a slight slowdown in deal activity when compared with 2016, as the number of deals completed fell by almost 14%. However, deal values bucked the national trend as the total value of activity across the North West reached a record level of £19.6bn, representing approximately a 41% uplift in recorded values.
It appears that overseas investors are not being put off by the so called ‘Brexit shadow’ as £1.6bn was spent by international investors on North West assets, with a major deal of note being the $94m acquisition of Knutsford-based Stirling Lloyd.
Coming back to the lunch the overall feel from both panels was that North West M&A is in a good place with high multiples being experienced due to several reasons, including the large amounts of dry powder available to private equity houses across the region. In addition the general consensus is that the North West continues to be a great place to do deals and there is a strong pipeline of deals expected at the start of 2018.