A business advisory firms is reporting an optimistic outlook for the country’s mid-market business community following a raft of multi-million pound deals throughout last year.
Grant Thornton’s corporate finance team in Scotland completed deals collectively worth more than £500m during 2017.
Director of corporate finance, Neil McInnes, said: “The team has had a tremendous 2017, achieving some exceptional outcomes for our clients on both buy and sell-side. I’m confident that this positive momentum will be sustained during 2018 as we’re increasingly seen as the go-to firm for growth in the mid-market.
“Confident among mid-sized companies is proving to be incredibly resilient. We have a strong pipeline of entrepreneurial clients looking for a partner, either a private equity firm or a trade player, to help them take their business to the next level, which is great to see.”
2017 deals included advising the shareholders of Arpal Group, a Borders-based manufacturer of cleaning and disinfectant products, on their sale to Fortune 500 group Ecolab Inc.
Robin Leith, managing director at Arpal Group, commented: "This was a particularly complex and demanding transaction and one which we simply could not have managed without the help and expertise of the Grant Thornton advisory team. For the sellers, this was a one-off experience and was, as times, an arduous and stressful affair, so the calming influence and professionalism of a team that have seen it all before was invaluable to me personally and the shareholders as a whole.”
Throughout the UK, Grant Thornton’s Corporate Finance team was involved in a total of 179 transactions in the 2017 calendar year with a total transaction value of £5.5bn. This represents a 25% increase in the volume of completed transactions over 2016 for the M&A team, with an average transaction value of £31m.
In Scotland, a number of deals have already completed in 2018, including the sale of specialist mounted access platform hire company Outreach Access, to Business Growth Fund-backed High Access Maintenance Group, and the acquisition by energy research, analysis and consulting specialist for exploration and oilfield services markets, Westwood Global Energy, of RigLogix from DHI Group, Inc.
Neil McInnes added: “Valuations remain strong, and the level of liquidity in equity, debt and public markets and the continued appetite of international corporates for quality UK assets provides a strong underpin for deal activity into 2018.
“Our combination of deep sector expertise, local relationships, international reach and a joined up proposition across all aspects of the deal is really resonating in the market. We are beginning 2018 on a very strong footing and are well positioned for further growth this year.”