Brexit…SMExit!

There is much debate regarding the impact of the UK possibly leaving the EU.  One topic is how operating outside of the EU would affect Mergers and Acquisitions.

My view, having spoken with our network of global Associates, is that M&A is a worldwide marketplace. It is a single market and despite many cultural and legal variations, inward/outward investment is buoyant on every continent.

That has been our experience here too.  Only a few weeks ago we were approached by an Asian Private Equity fund who have allocated $150m to spend on acquiring a range of UK businesses in sectors such as; Technology, IT and Logistics.

Why the UK? Well, we are viewed by others as a good place to do business; ethical and with a transparent, fair legal system.  The same can’t be said for other territories around the world!

We’ve also been asked by a multi-billion Euro turnover international group, based in mainland Europe, to locate and approach a broad range of UK businesses with a view to acquiring.  They currently own 13 businesses in the UK and have plans to grow that to over 100 in the next few years.

US acquirers buy more UK businesses than any other country. Last month a transaction we advised on successfully completed.  We acted for a $3.6bn US business who purchased a small SME (£1m t/o) based in the North of England.  A real David and Goliath situation, however, the acquired business had technology and an infrastructure that the American giant was looking for.

The UK is the 3rd most popular destination for Foreign buyers/investors and show no signs of abating, quite the reverse.  There may be a case for remaining in the EU, but in my opinion the M&A market isn’t one of them!

RGRob Goddard is Managing Director of Evolution Complete Business Sales

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