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Richard Bell

US firms dominate North West inbound deals

Companies in the US have accounted for more than a third of the deals completed this year between North West and overseas businesses, according to new research.

The latest Cross Border Deals Radar from business advisory firm Deloitte found that, so far in 2015, the number of inbound transactions in the North West has reached 36, with US firms accounting for 14.

Deals with North West companies have also risen in value, with transactions now worth in excess of £1.4bn compared to £1.06bn during the same period in 2014.

Some of the region’s largest deals were completed by North American companies. Agricultural manufacturer CF Industries Holdings completed a £368m deal for Cheshire firm GrowHow, while biotech company Thermo Fisher Scientific completed a £256m transaction for Lancashire-based chemical business Johnson Matthey.

Meanwhile, the largest transaction in Q3 came from Canada’s CPPIB Liberty Living, which acquired five Manchester properties totalling £330m from Student Castle Investments.

Deloitte’s North West corporate finance director, Olly Tebbutt, said: “The North West has always had strong links to business in the US, so it is encouraging to see that partnership continue to flourish.

“The region is home to a number of innovative technology and manufacturing companies, so it is easy to see why US and other overseas buyers seeking growth and differentiation continue to make investments.”

Elsewhere, German and Australian corporations completed three North West deals, while firms from Austria, Denmark, India and China were each involved in two.

Olly continued: “The wide spread of appetite from investors around the globe, from emerging economies like India and China to the European powerhouses of France and Germany, further demonstrates the role of North West corporates in the global economy.

“It’s been a buoyant year for deals, and a strong pipeline as we move into the traditionally busy Christmas period will continue the momentum for the remainder of the year.”

While the overseas appetite for investing in North West companies has grown, interest from the region’s businesses in acquiring overseas assets fell. So far in 2015, North West firms acquired 18 foreign companies, in comparison to 30 at the same point last year.

David O’Leary, Deloitte’s North West partner in charge of US trade delegations, commented: “These numbers confirm the real experiences we are having as regards inbound investment. It’s a trend that looks set to continue with the UK, and the North West region, viewed as a highly attractive market.

“This type of investment really benefits the region as it stimulates change and opens up new avenues of funding to allow businesses to achieve their growth objectives.”

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