It’s been another great year for the Lupton Fawcett LLP Sheffield Corporate Team. But what can we expect from the SCR deals market in the year ahead?

Having completed 26 deals with a total value of £136m during the 12 month period ending 30thApril 2018, things are looking good. But what can we expect from the SCR deals market in the year ahead?

Deal activity will remain strong in our opinion, the volume being mid-market SME acquisition, disposals and buyouts/ins, with the occasional stock market listing.

Yorkshire’s booming healthcare, insurance, food and drink sectors will continue to be attractive to UK and overseas acquirers, home grown investors, and executives turned private investors looking for SMEs to scale up.

The UK’s domestic tourism market is enjoying steady growth, investors have spotted the returns, so we can expect more deals among Yorkshire’s hotel, leisure, catering and tourism businesses.

Yorkshire’s industrial and manufacturing heritage, and engineering prowess, always generates strong interest from UK and overseas acquirers.“Made in Sheffield” M&A activity will continue to account for a large number of deals in the SCR and wider South Yorkshire market.

Technology and finance deals will continue at the fore with Artificial Intelligence increasingly becoming a key focus.

The infrastructure and transportation sector, which has been relatively stagnant, needs to take inspiration from other industries where strategic acquisitions of smaller innovative companies have generated fresh thinking and productivity gains.

Private Equity (PE) money will be more prevalent and expect more PE backed deals, with greater focus on innovation, technology and disruptive trends.

The continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit still remains a big factor affecting the deals market.Thrash out a deal, put in place fresh trade agreements with US, India, Canada, and China, then deal flow should increase. With the opportunities of a more open Britain, acquirers will place their bets in the UK whilst the economy is still a little green around the gills, and prices are still low and the exchange rate remains attractive. But a soft Brexit is crucial – without any trade agreement with Europe, UK companies will be less attractive targets, partly in their own right, but also in the context of the UK as a favoured location for global businesses seeking a European hub.

Our 7-strong Sheffield Corporate Team, made up of specialist corporate finance, banking, and tax lawyers, is now the fastest growing corporate legal team in the SCR. With a pragmatic, solutions orientated, client focused, approach (with plenty Yorkshire values – no nonsense style and value for money) we keep matters simple, getting the deal done on time, within budget, with minimum stress and business disruption. If you want to work with a dynamic, forward thinking and progressive legal team on your next corporate deal, then get in touch with me – Neil Large, Corporate Partner.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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