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    4 UK sectors to watch in 2017

    With UK deal volumes breaking record levels in 2015 and 2016, and favourable economic conditions being clear at present, the outlook for the M&A market in 2017 is nothing short of positive. Four sectors that are expected to perform particularly well are healthcare, energy, IT services and packaging.

    The UK pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors are forecast to be highly acquisitive over the next twelve months, as an aging population and a demand for new drugs and medical devices fuel deal-making.

    The energy and natural resources sectors should also remain leading drivers of UK transaction rates. In 2015, the UK was the second most targeted nation for oil and gas acquisitions, with deals worth a total of $86.6bn. The outlook is positive for this sector, with larger firms looking to pursue deals for growth.

    In recent years, the IT services sector has seen an uptick in deal activity. The use of smartphones, social media and cloud computing are creating new growth opportunities for service providers, causing corporations to reach out to industry experts to develop strategies that allow them to interact with clients within these new mediums. This strategy focus is increasing a demand for M&A within the sector, and therefore, deal activity is expected to remain high throughout 2017.

    Deal activity in the UK packaging sector boosted in the last few months of 2016, and market analysts are declaring that the trend looks set to continue in 2017. Packaging businesses are set to be popular acquisition targets due to the well-known resilient nature of the industry. Labelling is a particularly desirable area to invest in, according to experts, due to the consumer’s increased interest in having access to information and regulations about a product.

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