Price Bailey Strategic Corporate Finance division has advised on transactions worth more than £317m during the last 12 months, marking a record year for the firm.
The news comes just a month after the firm topped the Experian League Table for the nine months to 30 September 2015, being named the most active advisor in the East of England’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market.
According to the firm, around 16 per cent of the transactions by value were international, a trend which looks set to increase enabled in part by the firm’s membership of IAPA, a global network of accountancy and advisory practices. Examples of recent international transactions include the sale of a UK company to a buyer listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the ongoing sale of a group of companies headquartered in Australia.
Simon Blake, Partner and Head of Price Bailey Strategic Corporate Finance, said: “As part of our initiative to grow Price Bailey’s Strategic Corporate Finance offering we have been actively seeking out opportunities overseas. Over the past year members of the team have attended IAPA conferences in the US, Spain, Portugal and Hungary, toured the Middle East, fostered relationships with US-based corporate finance advisers and in the next few weeks we will be visiting Hong Kong and the Far East.
“This visibility and regular contact means that the Price Bailey name is now very well known within IAPA and the team is enjoying an increasing number of international referrals as a result. We are confident that our activity in this area will continue to grow.”
For business owners looking to exit, the firm says that deal multiples are up from where they were several years ago, with buyers seemingly more prepared to take account of a target’s future growth. Additionally, the team is working on an increasing number of acquisitions, as companies look beyond organic growth to achieve their strategic objectives.
“With low interest rates making borrowing costs affordable and leveraged finance more readily available from banks as balance sheet liquidity increases, the right deals, whether full acquisitions, MBOs or even occasionally MBIs, are fundable, “ says Corporate Finance Partner, Stephen Reed. “For stable performing companies that have unencumbered assets, or significant working capital, Asset Based Lending (ABL) could be considered as an alternative to more traditional funding options such as term debt and private equity.”
The team is also seeing a lot of activity in the start-up/early stage arena with an increasing number of tech-based and university based spin-off companies seeking assistance with Series A and B funding rounds via the PB Investor Network – which presents an attractive alternative to the mainstream crowdfunding platforms.
“We have successfully closed a record number of funding rounds this year and have a number of on-going fundraises across an exciting range of companies and sectors,” added Stephen Reed.