Cross Border Deals Provide Post Brexit Boost For M&A

M&A Lawyer Says Overseas Buyers Attracted By ‘Window of Opportunity’ Caused By Falling Pound


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New data from Thomson Reuters has revealed that almost 60 transactions totalling $34.5 billion have been struck by foreign companies for British firms since June 23.

The figure is lower than the 79 deals completed in the month leading up to the vote, but much higher than expected with many surveys before the vote predicting that M&A levels would fall dramatically.

Deals which have completed since the vote include the acquisition of discount chain Poundland by South African retailer Steinhoff.

The largest deal since the end of June was Japanese group SoftBank's $32 billion swoop for chip designer ARM Holdings. Other notable transactions include last week’s acquisition of English football club Wolverhampton Wanderers by China's Fosun International.

According to Reuters, the sectors with the highest concentration of foreign takeovers in the past four weeks were technology, consumer, industrials and media, with an overall 37 disposals valued at $33 billion.

Philip Goldsborough, corporate partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell and head of the firm’s US Group, said:

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“Brexit has created an attractive window of opportunity for inward investment into the UK, particularly from the US.

“In the weeks since the vote we have advised a number of US companies looking to invest whilst Sterling is at a historic low, both by way of organic UK branch and subsidiary openings through to acquisitions.

“This welcome spike in activity is going some way towards lifting the initial pessimism around the impact of Brexit on general corporate and M&A transaction levels”.
Philip Goldsborough, Partner

Since the EU referendum, Irwin Mitchell has advised on a number of cross border deals including Diamond Dispersions sale to US-based Lubrizol Corporation Limited.

Irwin Mitchell also advised Envision Pharma Group on a deal which saw it being sold by its existing partners, the Halifax Group. US private equity company, Ardian, in collaboration with GHO Capital, a specialist European investor in healthcare, partnered with Envision's leadership team to complete the acquisition.