The team at Smith Cooper Corporate Finance (SCCF), the specialist transactions division of Smith Cooper, has again secured a top 10 spot in Experian’s UK and Republic of Ireland M&A Review, being ranked 9th in the Midlands financial adviser league table for Q3 YTD 2019.
SCCF’s consistent ranking in the region’s top 10 justifies their reputation as one of the “go-to” advisers both regionally, and indeed UK-wide in their specialist sectors.
In the 31 March 2019 financial year, SCCF completed their highest ever tally of 43 deals, and once again secured the East Midlands Insider Corporate Finance Advisory Team of the Year 2019 and the SME deal of the Year 2019 – for the MBO of Flameright.
This ranking comes hot on the heels of our Smith Cooper parent business being ranked in the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms, as established by the Accountancy Age.
The local M&A landscape
Regionally, the Midlands ranked 5th by deal volume in Q3 YTD 2019, accounting for 14.2% of all UK deals. However, Midlands deal volumes were down 8% on last year, and (largely due to a 50% decline in mega-deals) down 42% by value.
John Farnsworth, Corporate Finance Partner at SCCF commented on the Review “There is no denying that the whole of the UK has seen a significant reduction in completed deals this year, with almost half of last year’s value shaved off and a 12% decline in volume – thus delivering the lowest deal volume for nearly a decade. The favourable debt market and a high level of available private equity funding clearly failed to offset the weakness in confidence caused by a cocktail of geopolitical and economic tensions, including the US-Chinese trade spat, US interest rates/$US value, Middle Eastern wars and the almost farcical Brexit situation. Whilst SCCF’s ranking demonstrates that we continue to put deals away, the pace of processing is slower.”
“The main factor affecting the UK M&A market is probably the current UK political uncertainty and Brexit; factors that may or may not (depending on whether a workable majority is achieved in the House), be eased by the forthcoming election”.
He continued “Whilst the uncertain UK conditions are likely to continue to dampen the UK’s M&A market until resolution of the parliamentary stalemate, the UK’s economic fundamentals remain surprisingly strong. This strength might explain the unprecedentedly high pipeline of work we have, to which we continue to rapidly add more. It seems that buyers and sellers are keen to initiate transactions, but that caution is slowing pace of those processes. I suspect that once the political situation resolves and confidence strengthens, we are going to be incredibly busy processing our existing pipeline, and at a brisker pace”.
Smith Cooper is one of the largest independently owned and preferred accountancy and business advisory firms for owner managed businesses across the Midlands. The firm specialises in providing intelligent, efficient and cost-effective bespoke advisory services to both corporate and individual clients. Smith Cooper has six offices across the Midlands including Derby, Birmingham and Nottingham.