Overseas deal volumes maintained in North West
24th April 2019, 9:11 am
The volume of cross-border transactions involving North West companies has remained stable, with the 17 transactions completed this year just one behind that seen 12 months ago according to Deloitte.
In total, 11 transactions were completed by North West firms acquiring overseas assets, with six inbound investments made by foreign buyers. This is in contrast to last year’s figures, which saw 11 inbound deals and seven acquisitions made by the region’s businesses.
Conducted in partnership with Experian MarketIQ, the research revealed that the value of transactions fell over the course of the year, with £276m worth of deals reported in Q1 2019. In comparison, the first quarter of 2018 saw more than £2bn of transactions completed, as overseas companies increasingly looked to secure North West assets.
Key deals completed in the first quarter of the year included the £232m acquisition of US-based cloud identity and age verification software company IDology by GB Group, as well as City Football Group’s addition of Chinese football club Sichuan Jiuniu FC for an undisclosed fee.
Transactions with the US remained the most prominent, with more than a third of deals involving an American company. Behind this, European countries contributed to five deals, with South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Australia also active.
This trend is also reflected on a national scale, with the UK remaining a strong choice for US acquirers and sellers, whilst US-European M&A has declined. There were 510 deals between the US and UK during 2018, in line with previous years. In contrast, the 771 deals between the US and the rest of Europe last year represents a 20 per cent drop on the 974 seen in 2017.
Olly Tebbutt, partner at Deloitte in the North West, said: “Despite the general market feeling that we have had a slow start to the year for deals, we have seen similar volumes of cross-border activity to last year. This highlights that the region remains an attractive proposition for international companies, and demonstrates the ongoing appetite from North West companies to go global.
“It is also interesting to see such a broad spread of global markets being targeted for overseas expansion, particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Australasia. With cities like Manchester and Liverpool, the region is quickly becoming recognised globally for its growth potential and innovation, and we expect to see deal flow continue in the coming months.”
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