The latest annual figures from Experian the market insight platform show that UK deal volumes decreased slightly in 2017, the first fall in volumes shown since 2008. There were signs in early 2017 that volumes were picking up, only to see a reversal in later months with the slow down starting in mid-2016 following the Referendum.
Data from other sources indicates that this fall is mainly attributable to deals involving foreign companies as either buyer, vendor or investor. UK deal volumes look to have increased which perhaps surprisingly supports higher confidence levels about future deal levels within the UK.
Corporate Finance Deal Figures
The regional figures from the report show that PKF Francis Clark were again the most active financial deal advisor, completing 53 deals in 2017 compared to 42 in 2016, ahead of Hazlewoods with 34 deals and Bishop Fleming with 22.
Andrew Killick, Head of Corporate Finance at PKF Francis Clark commented:
“We are delighted to remain as the lead Corporate Finance Advisor in the region and buck the national trend.
“We have committed further resources to the region by recruiting six additional team members including three Directors, bringing our Corporate Finance team to a total of 11 full-time Partners and Directors, together with a full support team.”
Overall UK deal figures decreased by 5% with the South West being harder hit with deal volumes falling by 10%. Paul Crocker, Corporate Finance Partner at PKF Francis Clark commented:
“The most disappointing feature of the figures has been the dramatic decline in the numbers of Management Buy Outs being reported, down by over 50% when compared to 2016.
“It can be tougher to complete these deals in the current environment of heightened uncertainty, but we have seen many examples of deals where creative input from advisors can make a deal happen. There are many sources of funds that are looking for the right company and management team to invest in, but you need to ensure the right deal is being discussed with the right funder.”
In terms of legal Advisors, top of the region was Ashfords with 29 deals, followed by Foot Anstey with 19 deals and Michelmores with 15.