Growing appetite for manufacturers

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Manufacturers based in Yorkshire saw an 80 per cent increase in mergers and acquisitions in the first three months of the year, compared to the previous quarter, according to the latest industry report.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, using data and analysis from Experian Corpfin, has revealed manufacturers in Yorkshire were the subject of 18 deals in the first three months of 2015.

The number is slightly down on the first quarter of last year, but higher than in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Nationally, there was a considerable increase in private equity involvement in manufacturing deals compared to 2014 and although 22 per cent of the deals in Yorkshire had private equity backing, the region’s share of deals within England fell to 8.3 per cent compared to 11 per cent last year. South East-based manufacturers were the subject of 30 per cent of all M&A activity across England.

Andrea Cropley, corporate partner at Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield, said: “These results paint a mixed picture. In Yorkshire we have seen an encouraging rise in deal volumes and although the number backed by private equity remains consistent with what we have seen in the region before, Yorkshire’s share has fallen to eight per cent.

“In other sectors we are seeing a great deal of private equity interest so I expect this is a blip rather than any long-term trend. The latest industry barometers demonstrate that the manufacturing sector is continuing to grow and I expect this confidence will translate into increased deal flow and renewed private equity interest throughout the year.”