Thursday 17th January 2019

Foreign buyers of SMEs helps buoy up deal prospects

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The outlook for deals in the region remains buoyant helped by a growing interest in acquiring SME businesses in the region from foreign buyers, according to Prettys Solicitors. Iain Waine, senior partner at Prettys, said 2017 was a positive year for deals in the East of England despite Brexit uncertainty and the trend is likely to continue throughout 2018.

He said: “Whilst we have been involved in a number of transactions between UK based entities, the corporate team at Prettys has seen a noticeable rise in SME acquisitions by foreign buyers who want to get a toe-hold in the UK market and are taking advantage of the drop in sterling to invest in quality businesses which offer localised services.”

He added :“It is likely that the East of England will continue to attract international investment.  The Netherlands, US and Ireland have been particularly active in the work which we have done.” The comments follow a financial year when Prettys’s corporate team saw increasing volumes of transactional work, completing deals in leisure services, high-end and specialist construction services as well as haulage and freight forwarding. …Read more

The total number of reported deal completions across the region was lower last year but remained well above the average yearly deal count since 2009, led by acquisitions of SMEs.

Ian Wained added: “There are some challenges ahead.  There remains some caution about possible adverse effects of Brexit and its effect on London as a financial centre while the challenges currently being experienced in the automotive sector and continued uncertainty on the high street demonstrate consumer caution.”

“Nevertheless, the overall outlook for the next year looks positive for businesses in the East of England and we have entered our new financial year with a substantial number of transactions in progress.  As 2018 brings more clarity on Brexit, businesses will be able to understand and prepare for the opportunities after the UK leaves the EU.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 May 2018 06:00 )