County behind in attracting private equity

Andrea Cropley
Andrea Cropley
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Yorkshire manufacturers were the target of more mergers and acquisitions in 2013 than at any time since 2008, according to Sheffield-based national law firm Irwin Mitchell.

However, the increase hasn’t been as great as in other regions and Yorkshire continues to fall behind the North West and the South East when it comes to attracting private equity investment.

Irwin Mitchell bases its analysis on data from Experian Corpfin’s proprietary M&A deals database.

Andrea Cropley, partner and head of Irwin Mitchell’s Corporate team in the North of England, says the law firm’s study shows encouraging signs as an increase in deals suggests greater confidence in the manufacturing sector generally.

“There are however a few areas of concern because although the sector as a whole saw more private equity mergers and acquisitions in 2013 compared to the previous 12 months, the increase in Yorkshire was not as high as in other regions,” says Andrea Cropley. Compared to 2012, there was a sharp rise in 2013 in the proportion of manufacturing M&A which was financed through private equity. In fact there was a 29 per cent increase across England, but in Yorkshire the increase was much lower at 18.7 per cent.

“The manufacturing sector is clearly attractive to private equity at the moment. Faced with this growing appetite and an improving economic picture, ambitious companies here in the region should seriously consider this option whilst they explore opportunities for developing and growing their business.”