After news broke that Mazars ranked as the number one merger and acquisition advisers in the Midlands for 2017 Paul Bevan, M&A Partner at Mazars Deal Advisory, examines the key themes that directed the top performance transaction activity of Mazars in the Midlands in 2017:
Latest figures from the Experian MarketIQ M&A Review for 2017 sees international accountancy firm Mazars LLP ranked as the number one M&A deal advisers by deal volume in the Midlands, with the team across the region advising on a total of 33 transactions.
This success was replicated across the UK, where Mazars rose two places to 12th nationwide.
Experian’s MarketIQ M&A Review is based on the volume and value of legal or financial advisory services (including due diligence and certain consultancy services) provided to the target, bidder, vendor, debt or equity provider, shareholders, directors, management or other parties to a deal.
Across the Midlands, the firm has seen another successful year of merger and acquisition deal activity with key deals including:
- The sale of BWB Holdings Limited (“BWB Consulting”) to CAF Turnkey & Engineering, a subsidiary of the Spanish listed entity, Contrucciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A. (“CAF”);
- The sale of Clamason Industries Limited to the management team, backed by Connection Capital;
- The sale of Gee Tee Signs Limited to Tarkwa Investments;
- The provision of due diligence services to Foresight on their investment into Retail Assist;
- The sale of RCS Logistics to Rhenus Logistics Limited, a UK subsidiary of the privately owned German entity, The Rethmann
2016 was a very active year for the Midlands Mazars Deal Advisory team and 2017 continued in the same vein. Reflecting on 2017, there are some key themes that have directed and influenced transactional activity.
A significant proportion of the companies Mazars has sold, or undertaken due diligence for, have been acquired by overseas corporates. There has been a strong appetite to invest in the UK from Europe, the US and the Far East. Whilst depreciation in the Sterling since the Brexit vote has positively influenced this, it is not the only reason. The swirl of M&A activity has become increasingly global over the last few years and the UK is seen by many as an attractive investment opportunity and, relative to opportunities elsewhere, safe and secure.
Private equity investors have displayed a continued as the market continues to expand, and a prolonged low-interest rate / low inflationary environment encourages a broader variety of investors to move up the risk curve in search of investment returns. Existing private equity houses have had great success in raising new and larger funds, and this has been complemented by family businesses putting more capital aside for direct equity investment.
Lastly, there has been a strong focus on domestic transactions, with interest in acquisitions not being restricted to overseas acquirers and private equity. Seemingly unperturbed by Brexit uncertainties, UK corporates continue to seek growth opportunities on home territory. However, sterling weakness, whilst giving a welcome fillip to UK exporters, has been a scourge for importers.
It is expected that these themes will continue over the next year and, in turn, continue to influence deal activity throughout 2018 in this sector.