‘Uncertainty’ was the watchword for 2019. Whether it was buyers or vendors, the lack of visibility over future trading conditions and the political landscape dampened dealmaking activity and the ambitions of management teams, leading to deal volumes being down on the prior year.
Nevertheless, our UK M&A team has acted as lead financial advisor on 74 deals in the last year with a number of notable trends:
The general election has now cut through some of last year’s lethargy, and what clients are telling me is that they are ready and raring to go.
Many of those who have been mulling over an exit have done their early prep work, and are set to launch processes in 2020. Meanwhile, I expect there will be a significant amount of demand, keeping prices high, as the market makes up for some of the lost volume.
We expect to see a busy first half of 2020. For many, it will be considered an opportune window to get deals done – for vendors, it is a chance to crystallise returns and for buyers to press ahead with strategic acquisitions to drive growth or put private equity money to work.
Of course, the threat of uncertainty could rear its head again towards the end of the year as we hurtle towards more political deadlines. But that won’t deter deal-doers in the short-term.
For further details on our deals by sector and region, please follow the links below.
Head of Corporate Finance, UK