RSM UK in the South, including London, Southampton, Bristol, Reading and Gatwick, has advised on over 120 deals this year, with a combined value of over £2bn. This equates to an increase of 25 per cent when compared with pre-pandemic levels.
The team has advised on a range of high-profile deals in 2021, including Mayfair Private Equity’s MBO of TangleTeezer (as seen on Dragon’s Den) and the South West deal of the year being the sale of Bristol Uniforms to MSA Safety. RSM Southern region also supported Risk Capital Partners on its acquisition of Curious Brew from Chapeldown and helped through vendor due diligence on the sale of Paladone to IVEST and Livingbridge’s investment in Veramed.
Following a record year, RSM has also invested in senior talent with the recruitments of Colin Ferguson and Creag Campbell-Ace as directors in the due diligence team and promoted our own team with Alex Milne becoming a due diligence partner in April. Mark Colling, Michael Wang, Philip Robinson, Sarah Nichols and Stephanie Wilson all became corporate finance directors in October. In addition, the overall regional team has increased by more than 10 per cent in the last 12 months with a record number of graduate entrants joining our corporate finance teams.
Nationally the RSM UK corporate finance practice has acted on over 240 deals this year, with a combined value of over £4bn across the UK – showcasing a record year for the corporate finance practice.
Peter Vandervelde, partner at RSM UK, said: ‘After a very strong first quarter, when the threat of capital gains tax increases accelerated deals activity, deal volumes and values remained high throughout 2021 due to the continued ambition of private equity investors and low cost of capital for corporates.
‘In the South and London we have seen high levels of activity since June 2020 after a short period of low activity following the first lockdown. That level of activity has sustained as there appears to be a perfect storm of factors driving buyers and sellers across many sectors. Even those sectors that were the hardest hit by Covid, including events management and travel, are now starting to see non-distressed deal activity.
‘With high levels of liquidity and continued low interest rates, the level of cash in the market will continue to drive strong levels of M&A activity into the New Year. However, resource constraints across the advisory sector are one factor that is holding back the industry. Expert services such as data analytics, financial modelling, tax advice and due diligence remain in high demand, and buyers will need to continue to factor such capacity issues into deal planning throughout 2022.’