Despite the economic uncertainty that surrounded last year, 2019 was very active for our Deal Advisory team, with many deals being influenced by key themes including foreign investment, private equity and the financial services sector.
International buyers and foreign investment in the UK
We have acted on a record number of transactions involving overseas trade buyers, with Europe being our most active buyer region. Through our international network, and the integrated Mazars partnership, we have been effective in our ability to seek cross-border acquisitive groups, or those requiring divestment overseas.
Private equity market becoming increasingly competitive
The private equity market continues to be awash with cash to spend, but with the majority of equity houses seeking out the plum assets only. Naturally this impacts pricing, with the high availability of cash chasing prices of the best businesses upwards. This has created twin track pricing with a substantial value gap seen between these businesses and those that are less than perfect.
Financial services sector activity remains buoyant
There has been an increasing number of share sales by listed investment trusts across the year resulting in a larger proportion of our deal activity being in the financial services sector, a strong area of expertise within our National Deal Advisory practice. Off-shore trust and fiduciary services have been key to their respective markets and we expect this to continue into next year.
With the political situation becoming clearer, we expect investment and M&A in the UK to increase in 2020. We have invested in our UK & International teams, deal advisory infrastructure and are well positioned for further growth in 2020.
We would like to thank all of the businesses, deal teams and connectors that we have worked with over the past year.
For more information, please contact our head of Mergers and Acquisitions, Oliver Hoffman.