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Manufacturing M&A deals in Yorkshire rise to six year high

The number of M&A deals involving Yorkshire-based manufacturing firms has reached its highest level for six years, according to a report by law firm Irwin Mitchell.

According to the latest data and analysis from Experian on behalf of Irwin Mitchell, Yorkshire manufacturers were the target of 28 deals during the third quarter of 2014.

The figure marks a 27% increase on the previous quarter and takes the total number of transactions for the year so far to 69 – just three behind the number completed within Yorkshire throughout the whole of 2013.

This increase, the fourth consecutive quarterly rise, resulted in the Yorkshire region increasing its national share of manufacturing M&A activity to 12.4%.

Although this represents an uplift compared to the previous three quarters, the region’s share was below that of the South West and the North West.

The report also highlighted an increase in the number of manufacturing deals in the region which were private equity backed.

During July, August and September, six manufacturing deals were financed through private equity, taking the total for the year so far to 12.

Highlighting the significant contribution that the region made during Q3, the report revealed that 21.4% of national PE-backed manufacturing deals were completed within Yorkshire.

The year to date figure for the region was 12.5% - the highest percentage recorded by the region since 2008.

Andrea Cropley, partner and head of Irwin Mitchell’s corporate team in the North of England said: “The Yorkshire region had another very strong quarter with 28 manufacturing-related deals completing during the period.

“This is of course very encouraging but what was perhaps even more significant was the growing role of private equity. Nationally there was a big increase in the number of PE-backed deals within the sector and the Yorkshire region was a big part of this.

“We have been predicting a significant increase in M&A activity and also calling for companies to consider more closely the private equity option whilst they explore opportunities for developing and growing their business. This is clearly happening and the signs are that this trend will continue into 2015.

“The market clearly provides significant opportunities for manufacturing companies which are assessing their strategic options and it’s vital that they take the appropriate professional advice to ensure their position ahead of any sale or purchase is optimised.”

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