Mid-market UK M&A deal values double in H1

By volume, there were 149 deals recorded in H1 2021, a 55% increase on the 96 deals in H1 2020

Mid-market M&A activity has nearly doubled by value to £48bn in the first six months of 2021, up from £28.6bn the prior year, according to Deloitte. 

By volume, there were 149 deals recorded in H1 2021, a 55% increase on the 96 deals in H1 2020.

Deloitte said it classifies the mid-market as between £100m to £1bn in deal value.

Fenton Burgin, head of Deloitte UK’s Advisory Corporate Finance practice, said: “We don’t see this situation changing and 2021 looks set to break all records in terms of deal activity. With interest rates remaining low, high levels of institutional capital are flowing into corporate finance. 

“Deals that were put on hold in 2020 have come back to market. In addition, the pandemic has accelerated growth for a range of digitally-enabled UK mid-market companies and private equity is responding by offering early investment to super charge their development.”

He added: “In fact, private equity has seen its busiest period ever in the first half of 2021 and the number of UK buyouts is up almost 60% compared to 2019. Record valuations and the potential for higher future tax rates is accelerating some sale processes while average price earnings multiples – the price paid for businesses – have risen above 10.5x, the highest for five years.

“UK PLC also looks very good value to some overseas buyers right now as UK stocks are the cheapest today relative to their US and European peers than at any time since 1990.”

Richard Bell, managing partner of UK Financial Advisory, said: “This increased level of activity is reflected in our deal pipeline nationally across the UK, and our team is rapidly expanding. Those businesses who’ve emerged from successive lockdowns with strong balance sheets and models are proving attractive targets.”

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