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Brexit uncertainty fails to dampen appetite for deals, say advisers

The firm has supported seven major local deals in the past seven months across a range of sectors from manufacturing and logistics to services, with a combined deal value of £150 million. 
Over a dozen more deals are also in the pipeline for the coming months.
The buoyant picture is despite the latest Q1 2018 market data from Experian MarketIQ showing a 27% drop in transaction numbers across the Midlands from the 549 deals reported in the same period last year.
However, overall deal value in the region rose by 12% on Q1 2017 levels and a significant 186% on Q1 2016 figures, mirroring Grant Thornton’s experience of a thriving market as Northamptonshire businesses continue to invest and go for growth.
  • Pictured: Mike Hughes, of Grant Thornton.

Corporate finance director Mike Hughes, based at Grant Thornton’s Northampton office, said: “The Northamptonshire economy is alive and vibrant. The start of 2018 has seen a string of significant deals complete as businesses look to expand through acquisition or secure investment for future growth. 

“These transactions also echo the positive findings of our recent Northamptonshire Limited report which revealed that our county’s businesses are continuing to prosper.
“Local businesses have certainly had a lot to contend with in recent months including Brexit, the new GDPR regulations and ‘sugar’ tax hitting the food and beverage sector. But they have demonstrated resilience and the ability to adapt to a changing market.
“Despite the above, the fundamentals for deal making remain strong with funders actively seeking to invest and lend to both SME and larger businesses. In addition, the region remains a strong favourite for corporate buyers, both in the UK and overseas, who recognise the skills and experience available. 
“It feels to us that shareholders of good businesses currently have the full range of options available, including growth through acquisition, new investment or where appropriate value realisation through sale.
“While nobody can predict the outcome of the Brexit negotiations which are understandably creating some short-term uncertainty, in this fast-moving economy change is always on the horizon. 

“Importantly, business in Northamptonshire are well versed in preparing for the unexpected. Ambitious, local firms with high growth potential have every reason to be optimistic about their future prospects.” 

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