Volumes and values fall

M&A market suffering from delay over Brexit, says RSM

The sale of Bertram Nursery was among RSM’s deals

Deal volumes continue to be hit by Brexit uncertainty, according to the Scottish head of RSM’s corporate finance team.

RSM says it has been the most active financial adviser in the Scottish M&A advisory market over the past nine months, but has shared the slowdown caused by the delayed decision on Britain’s relationship with the EU.

The firm advised on 11 M&A deals involving Scottish assets and other advisers against a backdrop of reduced deal volumes (down by 28% on the same period last year).

Deal values are also down – by around 38% – which RSM says is an indicator of a more prudent approach to M&A activity.

The corporate finance team advised the sale of Inverkeithing gear manufacturer Lamond & Murray to global professional supplies business Descours et Cabaud. It provided financial due diligence to 1825, Standard Life Aberdeen’s wholly owned financial planning business, on its acquisition of Grant Thornton UK’s wealth advisory business.

RSM secured private equity funding for Manchester-based internet connectivity specialist Vaioni Group by Glasgow-based Panoramic Growth Equity. It provided financial due diligence on Apiary Capital’s buy-out of Edinburgh-based Bertram Nursery Group.

UK-wide, RSM advised on 109 deals in the first three quarters of the year, moving the firm up from third to second place in the national league table.

Ewan Grant, RSM’s head of corporate finance in Scotland, said: ‘Evidently, the ongoing Brexit uncertainty is continuing to affect deal volumes; frustrating processes, extending exclusivity periods and delaying decisions.

“With that said, good quality assets continue to attract plenty of attention from both strategic corporates and financial investors. Well-managed processes with well-prepared businesses, will ensure vendors are best placed to secure a successful deal, at a premium price, despite the challenging backdrop.”

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