RSM's corporate finance team has topped the M&A advisory league table in four regions including London, the south east, the north west and Northern Ireland. The latest Experian data listed the second most active M&A financial advisers in the UK.
RSM advised on 84 completed deals over the first nine months of 2020, including 39 in London, 20 in the south east, 20 in the north west and 4 in Northern Ireland. Overall, Experian recorded 3,780 deals up to the end of September, down 30 percent on the same period last year, and the lowest Q1-Q3 figure since 2009 when the credit crunch hit.
Following a strong start to the year, quarter 2 saw a significant drop in volume as the impact of lockdown and coronavirus uncertainty took hold, but quarter 3 showed signs of recovery. Despite the exceptionally difficult market conditions, the total value of UK M&A deals in the first three quarters was up 17 percent to £186 billion from £159 billion for the same period last year. The deal landscape also shifted, with over 300 rights issues and major refinancings conducted.
Kirsty Sandwell, partner and head of corporate finance at RSM comments: ‘This has been an exceptionally difficult year, yet despite this there have been some positive signs, most notably some multi-billion deals in the telecoms and tech sector. This sector has done well, bucking the trend, partly due to an increased need for technology as many work from home, and an increased demand for digital entertainment and gaming during lockdown.
‘The practicalities of completing deals during lockdown has also been a challenge. With the Brexit transition period about to end, quarter four will bring further concerns for our middle market clients who will need to adapt to a new trading environment. Amid all this uncertainty our corporate finance business managed to top the rankings for advisory deals by volume in four UK regions, which is testament to our strength in capability and hard work on behalf of our clients. I believe our success is down to our continued focus on the mid-market, delivering deal flow into and providing services to the private equity community within the UK and in Europe. We have found that a multi-disciplined approach, maximising the resource and expertise of our wider firm, coupled with our brand, provides comfort to clients in a very difficult climate.
‘As we enter national lockdown once more, we are likely to see refinancings and corporate divestments surge in the final quarter, as companies look to shore up their balance sheets in the face of a second wave of the pandemic.’