Corporate Finance M&A 2019 & 2020 Q1 review
2019 saw a slowdown in the UK M&A market generally, with Brexit and the domestic political uncertainty dominating agendas and impinging upon market confidence. The number of completed deals in the UK fell 13% compared to 2018 and the value of deals fell to its lowest for 10 years, reaching £206bn (a decrease of £43bn). This was mainly due to a 41% fall in the number of the very largest deals (i.e. those over £1bn in value).
In the face of the uncertainty, the MHA Corporate Finance network delivered a successful year which included 64 announced transactions spanning the entirety of the UK, with particularly strong results reported across East and North East England. Traditional sell side advisory was a major component of activity with increased emergence of buy out/buy ins and development capital deals, supported by a Private Equity market which has grown significantly in recent years. Private Equity demand has influenced sectoral demand, with the emergence of the IT, Digital and Creative sectors becoming a substantial portion of deal flow.
As we entered 2020 we have seen an overspill of market activity with 28 announced deals reported, again with East, North East and London being our most active territories. Further sector movements have been noted with IT, Digital and Creative becoming our most active markets ahead of the lockdown measures, which were imposed by the UK Government in late March as COVID-19 grasped the nation.