We’re well and truly into the post-Brexit period and as Corporate Finance Partner at Campbell Dallas I’ve been looking back at Q3 deal flow. Although it’s still too early to call, this is the 1st quarter post Brexit vote, and may help to start identify what the next two years or so may hold for the Scottish & UK deals market.
Our CF team has never been busier; indeed from September in particular there has been a significant upturn. So rather than Brexit slowing deal flow, we’ve actually been experiencing the opposite. And it’s not just an increase in the volume of deals, we’re seeing more non-Scottish and foreign buyers and investors actively seeking opportunities and closing deals we’re advising on here in Scotland.
What we do know is that the post Brexit fall in Sterling is a boon when it comes to foreign buyers accessing the UK market. But we also know that quality Scottish businesses with a proven business model, good growth prospects, and a clear competitive advantage remain attractive to trade and institutional buyers.
So if there is a storm to come, then I think quality businesses will weather it. They’ve faced change and uncertainty before, and I’m sure that whatever Brexit eventually brings, they’ll find a way to be resilient, adapt and take advantage of any change.
My fellow Corporate Partner, Chris Horne agrees, “I’ve heard some comments that deals have been falling over as a result of the Brexit vote, but we’ve seen a sustained increase in M&A activity, really since early summer, and our deal pipeline is showing no sign of reducing. The reality is that while there’s been a lot of talk about Brexit, until the negotiations start in earnest, no-one really knows how it will affect companies and deal making”.
I’m also noticing a trend in trade bidders from south of the border, the US and elsewhere making unsolicited enquires to companies we’ve been hired to advise. The post Brexit quarter, and the subsequent period, has held up very nicely, and we don’t see any evidence of this slowing down in 2017. Investment in the UK in our experience isn’t being stunted as much as some commentators previously forecast.
It will take some time for the Brexit fog to clear but I don’t think this will be anytime soon, and in the meantime I think our Corporate Finance team will remain very busy advising and supporting our clients.
If you want to discuss any of the points raised in this blog please get in touch with me here, or:
0141 886 6644
The information in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice. This is based on our understanding in December 2016.