Calendar year 2017 was a buoyant year for M&A activity across the UK, and the third busiest year on record according to official figures published in Experian’s 2017 M&A Review.

Smith Cooper Corporate Finance experienced an equally successful year, completing 17 local deals to secure a top 10 Midlands ranking. In addition, it completed a further 15 deals outside of the Midlands, bringing the total of completed deals to 32, far exceeding any previous records.

The Midlands was placed 5th in the UK and Ireland in terms of deal volumes in 2017, which were down by 8% from 2016, whilst the value of deals completed in the region increased by over 20%, boosted by the completion of three mega deals worth a hefty £6.9bn.

Smith Cooper Corporate Finance completed several notable transactions in 2017 within the Midlands, including the merger of Hallam Internet Limited and Big Spring (UK) Limited, the acquisition of Ultrasound Direct by The Fertility Partnership and, most recently, the raising of £3m of development capital from private equity investor Foresight Group for Nottingham- based specialist coffee company, 200 Degrees.

Outside of the Midlands, Smith Cooper initiated and project-managed a deal for North-East based Wiltshire Farm Foods (Newcastle) Limited, a franchisee of the UK’s leading frozen meal home delivery business Wiltshire Farm Foods (WFF), which was sold to ex-banker Robbie Jones, and the sale of British designers and manufacturers of high quality technical workwear, Wearwell Group Limited.

Deals also extended internationally with the team acting for Kuwait-based food retail group KFG which sold a subsidiary operating KFC stores, stretching from Preston to Bristol, to the largest KFC operator in the UK – Herbert Group.

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