Grant Thornton tops Experian Corpfin East of England M&A ranking

Darren Bear, Grant Thornton.

Darren Bear, Grant Thornton. - Credit: Archant

Grant Thornton has been named as the region’s number one financial adviser for merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in a new report from information services company Experian Corpfin.

Grant Thornton is ranked top both in the East of England and the UK as a whole in terms of deal volume, having been involved in 17 transactions regionally and 128 nationally during the last year.

In the East, 60% of its deals involved overseas buyers.

The region was involved in 8.1% of all UK deals during 2015 with manufacturing the busiest sector, accounting for 30% of all transactions.

The total value of deals in the region also grew from £8.1bn in 2014 to £25.1bn last year, 211% increase. The Information and Communication industry was East Anglia’s most valuable sector, recording £13.9billion worth of deals.

Notable deals completed by Grant Thornton in the region during 2015 include the sale of medical devices manufacturer Medical Innovations, to New Jersey provider of infection prevention and control products, Cantel Medical Corp; and the acquisition of temporary, heavy duty commercial floor matting supplier, Zigma Ground Solutions by Checkers Industrial Safety Products in Colorado.

Darren Bear, who heads Grant Thornton’s central and east corporate finance team, said: “It’s fantastic we have been recognised as the number one financial adviser to companies across the region, and the UK as a whole.

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“Throughout last year we saw increasing evidence of a strengthening market with buyers prepared to pay a premium for quality companies. With a significant increase in overall deal numbers and value both here in the East of England and across the UK, the M&A market is definitely back to its pre-recession form.”

He added: “We are also experiencing a significant upturn in overseas interest, particularly from US buyers who have been relatively conservative over recent years and built up large cash reserves which they are now ready to deploy.

“We expect the buoyant level of M&A activity we are currently seeing to continue well into 2016.”