The team here at Smith Cooper Corporate Finance (SCCF), our specialist transactions division of Smith Cooper, has again secured a top 10 spot in Experian’s UK and Republic of Ireland M&A Review, being ranked 9th in the Midlands financial adviser league table for Q3 YTD 2019.

SCCF’s consistent ranking in the region’s top 10 justifies our reputation as one of the “go-to” advisers both regionally, and indeed UK-wide in our specialist sectors.

In the 31 March 2019 financial year, we completed our highest ever tally of 43 deals, and once again secured the East Midlands Insider Corporate Finance Advisory Team of the Year 2019 and the SME deal of the Year 2019 – for the MBO of Flameright.

This ranking comes hot on the heels of our Smith Cooper parent business being ranked in the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms, as established by the Accountancy Age.

The local M&A landscape

Regionally, the Midlands ranked 5th by deal volume in Q3 YTD 2019, accounting for 14.2% of all UK deals. However, Midlands deal volumes were down 8% on last year, and (largely due to a 50% decline in mega-deals) down 42% by value.

John Farnsworth, Corporate Finance Partner here at SCCF commented on the Review “There is no denying that the whole of the UK has seen a significant reduction in completed deals this year, with almost half of last year’s value shaved off and a 12% decline in volume – thus delivering the lowest deal volume for nearly a decade. The favourable debt market and a high level of available private equity funding clearly failed to offset the weakness in confidence caused by a cocktail of geopolitical and economic tensions, including the US-Chinese trade spat, US interest rates/$US value, Middle Eastern wars and the almost farcical Brexit situation. Whilst SCCF’s ranking demonstrates that we continue to put deals away, the pace of processing is slower.”

“The main factor affecting the UK M&A market is probably the current UK political uncertainty and Brexit; factors that may or may not (depending on whether a workable majority is achieved in the House), be eased by the forthcoming election”.

He continued “Whilst the uncertain UK conditions are likely to continue to dampen the UK’s M&A market until resolution of the parliamentary stalemate, the UK’s economic fundamentals remain surprisingly strong. This strength might explain the unprecedentedly high pipeline of work we have, to which we continue to rapidly add more. It seems that buyers and sellers are keen to initiate transactions, but that caution is slowing pace of those processes. I suspect that once the political situation resolves and confidence strengthens, we are going to be incredibly busy processing our existing pipeline, and at a brisker pace”.

How we can help

An award-winning team of advisors, our corporate finance team are dedicated to helping businesses excel and achieve their goals, by providing practical, commercially viable advice with positivity, and tenacity.

If you would like any advice on any aspect of M&A, whether it be acquisitions, disposals, preparing a business for sale, buy-outs or buy-ins, raising traditional or alternative forms of debt finance, equity funding, valuations, or other specialist services then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

To read the Experian United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland M&A Review YTD 2019, click here.