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M&A survey shows promise and optimism in UK's Midlands region

Survey conducted by Midlands corporate finance specialists Smith Cooper shows family owned businesses & professionals expect M&A market to remain vibrant.

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68% of respondents expect M&A activity to grow or stay unchanged

The recent 'M&A Compass' survey conducted by Midlands accountants Smith Cooper shows that sentiment around M&A activity in the Midlands remains robust - indeed 68% of professionals and private shareholders anticipate that activity will increase or stay unchanged in the next three months, giving reason for optimism on the M&A landscape, despite uncertainties.

Twice a year, Smith Cooper Corporate Finance conducts a survey of professionals and family owned businesses to gauge the state of M&A activity across the UK's Midlands region. For this latest M&A survey, Smith Cooper teamed up with the BGF, the UK and Ireland's most active investor.

More enthusiasm in the East Midlands

In comparison to the previous survey, the latest survey suggests businesses and professionals in the East Midlands are currently the most enthusiastic about future levels of M&A activity than their peers in the West Midlands. 

Download the survey

2017: a good year for deal making

2017 was a buoyant year for dealmakers in the UK. Factors which combined to create the right environment for a flurry of activity included: low interest rates, access to capital, a weakening currency and a pickup in growth. 

Indeed, the Midlands region enjoyed the largest increase in deal activity in the UK and was recently positioned third in the UK and Ireland in terms of the value of deals completed.

Darren Hodson, Corporate Finance Partner at Smith Cooper comments:

“The overwhelming response from our survey was that 68% of respondents expected deal volumes to increase or not to change, whilst a further 80% anticipate either an increase or no change in the availability of UK debt. While sentiment has softened from our last survey, it still highlights how vibrant the M&A market is. However, it is clear that business owners and professionals are more cautious about the prospects of M&A activity in 2018. This does not seem to be specifically in relation to Brexit nor availability of debt, where sentiment remains largely unchanged. It appears that this is down to prospects in the general economy.”

For more information or advice

Contact Darren Hodson at Smith Cooper in Birmingham.