Manufacturing ‘attractive’ to private equity

money300A new report has revealed that manufacturing businesses in England attracted significantly more venture capital last year despite a fall in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the sector.

According to data from law firm Irwin Mitchell, there was a 29.2% increase in the number of private equity-backed transactions in the sector despite a 6% fall in the total number of deals in manufacturing.

The study found that across England, 28.5% of M&A in the sector was supported by venture capital, while 12 months ago the figure stood at 20.6%.

Manufacturing businesses in the South East were the subject of almost a third (31.5%) of all M&A in the sector. The North West was home to 14.4%, while the North East saw just 4% of activity.

Twenty seven per cent of private equity backed manufacturing deals were in the South East, however this fell from 33.7% the year before.

Irwin Mitchell’s Andrea Cropley said: “Although deal levels reduced, there were some encouraging signs in relation to private equity. The manufacturing sector is clearly attractive at the moment. Faced with this growing appetite and an improving economic picture, ambitious companies here in the UK should seriously consider this option whilst they explore opportunities for developing and growing their business.”

Copyright Ken Hurst 2014


About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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