Deal flow appears unaffected by Brexit scaremongering – Mazars

David Preston, transaction services partner at Mazars.

Deal flow has largely been unaffected by Brexit, according to David Preston, transaction services partner at international accountants and business advisers Mazars.

Indeed, ten weeks on from the referendum most UK businesses “continue to thrive”, he believes.

“For many, waking up to the news that a majority of the UK had voted to leave the EU, was a shock, and it is going to take some time to establish what the ‘new normal’ will be,” said Mr Preston.

“My perception is that we will probably look back at the last month as the calm before the storm, as the crosswinds of when Article 50 should be signed and what Brexit will look like now return to the top of the news agenda.”

Mr Preston went on: “At the time of the referendum, we were working on a number of cross-border transactions and my sense was that if a reason was required for acquirers to walk away from these deals, the UK’s decision to leave the EU was it.

“My fears were unfounded.

“Hills Numberplates’ growth funding deal went through within a week of the vote while Florette UK & Ireland’s purchase of Axgro Foods and the merger of Tournus Équipement and CED Fabrications completed the following month.

“The common thread running through these projects was a sound rationale for doing the deal. Brexit couldn’t de-rail that rationale and throughout the summer we have continued to see opportunities and work on new assignments.”

He stressed: “Whatever Brexit eventually means for the UK, there are many reasons to be optimistic.

“Although there will be exceptions, the vast majority of UK businesses will continue to thrive.

“Some will proactively reassess how they manage their overseas activities, while others will consider the potential challenges of the loss of free movement of people.  For many though it will be ‘business as usual’ as management teams adopt a wait and see strategy while the political and economic machinations of Brexit begin to play out.

“And regardless of what the new normal ultimately looks like, well run and well managed businesses will continue to look to enhance value through acquisitions.

“Whatever the news agenda throws at us over the coming months, M&A activity will undoubtedly continue.”