2018 was a very strong year for mergers and acquisitions, with activity consistently increasing throughout the year, a trend that is expected to continue well into 2019.
Most major experts are predicting the numbers and value of mergers and acquisitions will increase both domestically and globally, with a particular surge in middle-market and lower-middle market companies.
The UK has been tipped to remain one of the most popular locations for M&A, following H2 2018’s surge in activity. According to a new report from Moody’s Analytics company Bureau Van Dijk, the UK was third, behind the US and China, with £413bn of deals last year involving a UK target, a 41% jump from £291bn the year before.
Some sectors are predicted to be at the forefront of this M&A acceleration, with technology expected to become one of the most attractive sectors for acquisitions. The demand for companies, both established and start-up, comes from trade acquirers and private equity, as well as both UK and overseas interest.
So far in 2019, KBS Corporate has already completed a significant number of deals, which cover a range of sectors. For example, in technology we recently advised on the sale of ESM Global, an optical fibre specialist, an opportunity which attracted a wide variety of interest.
Activity levels at KBS Corporate are increasing significantly. 2018 saw a 24% increase in the number of offers we received for businesses on the market with us, compared to 2017, and with our completion volume already higher than last year, this is a trend continuing into 2019. On top of this, we have seen an 18% increase in NDAs received and a 23% increase in buyer meetings.
Acquisitions are certainly increasing across all sectors, with more and more companies, private equity houses and investors showing an interest in the UK market.