4 Feb 2019

South West Corporate Finance Deal Summary 2018


Experian have published the merger & acquisition (M&A) data for 2018 in their latest Experian Market IQ report which considers reported deals with a minimum value of £500,000. The data doesn’t include confidential deals or smaller transactions.

The company’s research shows that, disappointingly, the level of M&A activity in the South West appears to be slowing, with 2018 transaction numbers continuing the decline that started in 2017. In 2018 Experian reported 498 transactions in the SW worth £5.2bn, an 11.9% reduction in volume and a 4.7% reduction in value from the previous year.

The largest deal in 2018 was the £630m acquisition of Bristol biotech firm Ziylo Ltd by a Danish company. The international element featured in the majority of the Top 10 deals with several cross-border transactions with companies based in the USA.

Professional services was the most active sector, representing 31% of all SW transactions in deals valued at £1.4bn. Manufacturing slipped into second place with 26% and other sectors that saw positive growth in both volumes and values were health and other service activities.

Despite the historically low interest rates, the number of bank funded deals fell slightly and private equity investment was down by 8% in the region. Barclays funded the most debt transactions, closely followed by Lloyds Banking Group and the Business Growth Fund was the most prolific equity investor.

To discuss this or anything else, please contact Alison Bradshaw on 01793 818300 or send her an email