North West attracts overseas investors

North West attracts overseas investors

Investment into North West companies from overseas increased dramatically in the first half of 2017, according to research from business advisory firm Deloitte.

The latest Cross Border Deals Radar, conducted in partnership with Experian Corpfin, reveals the value of inbound deals has nearly trebled when compared with the same period last year– up to £1.1bn from £305m in 2016.

Deal volumes were also higher, with a total of 25 transactions up on the 21 seen last year, boosting the average deal value threefold to £46m.

The value of inbound activity was enhanced largely by the acquisition of Salford-based Exova Group Plc by Dutch provider of material and product testing analysis, Element Materials Technology BV, in a deal worth £620m. The transaction saw Exova delist from the London Stock Exchange and re-registered as a private limited company.

These transactions have come from all over the world, with strong appetite from European businesses, with nine transactions, whilst five investments were made from Asian countries. However, the most active country remained the USA from which 10 deals were completed, accounting for 41% of all inbound deals.

John Breheny, director at Deloitte in the North West, said: “These findings highlight that North West businesses are still considered among the most attractive in the world, with a range of acquirers from across Europe, Asia and North America targeting our region. In particular, the US/UK deal corridor has proven to be extremely active in recent years, and it is unsurprising that technology, media and telecoms businesses are those most frequently targeted – a sector in which the North West excels.

“In the first half of 2017, inbound overseas investment into North West companies has significantly exceeded outbound investment, a trend at least in part driven by the current weakness in sterling. Any appreciation in the value of sterling would, we expect, be accompanied by a corresponding increase in outbound deal activity towards previous levels.”