Private equity deals in the North of England rose by 17 per cent in 2019 with 46 completed transactions, compared with 39 in 2018.
The latest figures from the Centre for Management Buyout Research (CMBOR), sponsored by Equistone Partners Europe and Investec Specialist Bank, show that while the overall number of deals increased in the North, the total value of the transactions dropped significantly from £2.5bn in 2018 to £1.3bn in 2019 – a fall of almost 50 per cent.
However, the research reveals that the North is climbing the ranks when compared to its regional counterparts, accounting for one quarter (46) of total UK deals (186) this year, after having contributed just 18 per cent in 2018.
These figures are made up of a number of significant deals in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humberside. These include the sale of the UK’s leading independent holiday home provider Sykes Cottages by Livingbridge, to private equity firm Vitruvian Partners in October for £375m and Macquarie’s public-to-private acquisition of Premier Technical Services Group for £300m. Braveheart Investment Group also completed the purchase of the £112m remaining shares in scientific instrument company Paraytec.
Andi Tomkinson, partner at Equistone Partners Europe, said: “While the overall volume of UK transactions fell again in 2019, this is perhaps unsurprising considering the recent unstable economic outlook, and it is encouraging to see the volume of Northern deals climbing to rival those in the South.
“With the general election over, it will be interesting to reflect on how this impacts investment in 2020 – this may lead to a jump in both value and volume of deals in the North and the UK as a whole.”
Investec’s Dan Sheahan said: “Although the market has been waiting for political clarity and certainty, strong, promising companies are still able to find buyers. The North of England contains a wealth of promising companies, attracting capital not just within the UK, but from overseas too, particularly in the tech sector. As the UK’s political future becomes more certain, this is only set to grow.”