International Reach Key to Post-Pandemic Deal Making

Businessman walks through airport.

Selling a business in the current macroeconomic environment requires more than the usual offering that most company sale brokers bring to the table. It needs new proactive approaches, including courting interest from a variety of international markets and meeting acquirers where they are at, strategically and geographically.

For owners of companies it is clearly an unprecedented time, with runaway inflation and the impact of the terrible war between the Ukraine and Russia all adding to the volatility. Against this backdrop, it’s crucial to have the right advisor, who can deploy solid expertise and experience when selling your business to a domestic or international acquirer.


Strong International Interest

EvolutionCBS has a solid track record of engaging with international acquirers on behalf of UK company owners, in diverse regionsBusinessman walks through airport. of the world, from the United States to Singapore, all of whom expressed a desire to look at an acquisition in the UK.

Since January, the EvolutionCBS team has had direct discussions with over 150 organisations from across the globe that committed to reviewing an acquisition in the UK, signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to cover their intent.

Across a number of projects our senior team have engaged with acquisitive international organizations both here in the UK and in their home countries, with recent negotiation meetings being held on site in Sweden and Italy to specifically address the needs of these international acquirers.

Based on data from our proactive contact with overseas markets, North America stands out as a particularly active, representing 32% of initial interest (NDAs signed) since the start of the year. This was followed by Western Europe (23%), and a number of other territories, including Scandinavia, Southern Europe and Asia.


Chart: The distribution of EvolutionCBS overseas acquirers considering an acquisition in Britain in 2022.

That said, domestic acquirers also continue to have a strong presence in acquisition projects, with the UK representing the largest share of the interest we receive in our clients. The UK accounts for 66% of all seriously interested parties we have engaged on behalf of EvolutionCBS clients.


Private Equity Continues to Seek Opportunities

Our experience in 2022 has been that UK-based and international Private Equity firms continue to seek out British acquisition targets. For example, a recent EvolutionCBS deal involved a portfolio company of a New York-based Private Equity firm ASGARD acquiring our client Specific Environments Ltd.

Since the start of the year, 32% of organisations that have expressed an interest in EvolutionCBS clients have been Private Equity acquirers, and there remains plenty of opportunity for company owners to engage with this type of financial investor if they are considering a sale.


Trade acquirers still present in the market

There is however still significant interest from trade acquirers in British businesses. For example, a current EvolutionCBS client, operating in the Digital Media sector, has had interest from same sector trade acquirers located in Western Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and the United States.

Organisations demonstrating a strong interest in acquisitions have included North American listed Media and Entertainment companies, mobile app and online platform operators, Engineering specialists, and multinational Software organisations.


Recognise the need for proactive international engagement

Undertaking a company sale is undoubtedly challenging enough in itself, without having the additional complexities of different time zones and language barriers to contend with. There are a number of implications to selling to an overseas acquirer, not least that elements of negotiations might be subject to complex cultural, legal and commercial considerations.

For example, if a dispute arises at any point during the sale then in which jurisdiction will matters be resolved? Will any legal agreements be subject to the law of England and Wales, or the legal framework of another country?

Some of these matters will need addressing early on in the process and this is where an advisor can prove their worth. At EvolutionCBS we ensure that business owners and shareholders can approach a company sale, whether to a UK or international acquirer, fully prepared and with their best interests at the heart of the sale project. ■


Considering a sale of your business? Our free Business Owners Masterclass on 12th October will address these and other complexities of selling a business, including how companies are valued, as well as other fundamentals, such as earn-outs, handling negotiations, and due diligence.


About Us

As a long-established premium provider of business sale advisory services to UK businesses, EvolutionCBS offers business owners a complimentary and confidential discussion on how their specific objectives could be met and provide pragmatic, practical advice on how to begin preparing both themselves and their businesses for a future sale.

EvolutionCBS works with owners of UK businesses in any sector, finding buyers from around the world through highly targeted research and supporting clients with dedicated Director-led teams, at every stage of their journey to a successful sale.

If you are an owner or shareholder of a business and would like a no obligation consultation on the sale of your business, please email: or contact us on Tel: 0118 959 8224.


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