UK manufacturing M&A on the up

Posted on 30 Apr 2014 by The Manufacturer

New data has revealed that mergers and acquisitions in the UK manufacturing sector increased significantly in Q1 2014 compared to both the preceding quarter and the same quarter last year.

Analysis of Experian data carried out by law firm Irwin Mitchell shows that UK-based manufacturers were the target of 183 deals in Q1 2014.

This compares to 151 in Q4 2013 and 157 in Q1 2013.

The majority of deals were struck in the South East with the North West showing the biggest increase in activity.

Irwin Mitchell’s analysis also highlights a significant drop in the amount of M&A activity supported by private equity in the manufacturing sector.

Just 15% of deals struck in Q1 this year involved PE partners compared to 28.5% in Q1 2013.

Commenting on the data Chris Rawstron, a corporate partner at Irwin Mitchell said: “Overall the manufacturing sector performed well during Q1 with a 12% increase in the number of deals compared to the previous three months period.”

Mr Rawston continued to say that he was disappointed by the reduction in the use of private equity for deals in the sector.

“The manufacturing sector is certainly proving to be driving a great deal of M&A activity and I expect that there will be an increase in levels as the year continues,” he said. “Faced with this growing appetite and an improving economic picture, ambitious companies here in the region should seriously consider the option of private equity whilst they explore opportunities for developing and growing their business.”