County sees renewed appetite for mergers and acquisitions

Paul Fussell

Paul Fussell - Credit: Archant

Increasing economic confidence is seeing Gloucestershire bucking the national trend when it comes to company mergers and acquisitions, according to county-based chartered accountants and business advisers, Hazlewoods.

Nationally, the number of mergers and acquisitions remained historically low in the second quarter of 2014, as reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). There were 37 domestic acquisitions, where UK companies acquire other UK companies, which was a slight decrease on the 39 acquisitions in the first quarter of this year. Meanwhile, acquisitions of UK companies by foreign companies numbered 19 in the second quarter, the lowest number reported since the first quarter of 2013. And outward acquisitions, where UK companies acquire companies abroad, dropped to 17 in the second quarter of 2014; just half the number of transactions reported in the previous quarter.

However Paul Fussell, Corporate Finance Partner at Hazlewoods, said that despite the national figures, a much more positive picture was being seen by his firm in Gloucestershire. “Here at Hazlewoods we are bucking the trend,” he said. “We have seen an increase in deal flow, which we believe is set to continue into 2015 and beyond. We have seen it across a broad range of sectors.

“There is a lot more liquidity and I would say a lot more optimism at the moment. The increased appetite for mergers and acquisitions is attributable to increased confidence coupled with availability of funding.”

Hazlewoods is a Gloucestershire-based firm of Business Advisers and Chartered Accountants. With offices in Gloucester, Staverton and Cheltenham and more than 250 staff, Hazlewoods provides multi-disciplined services to a broad range of clients, from sole traders to blue-chip multinationals, private investors to public institutions. Hazlewoods is ranked 34th in the UK, source: Accountancy Age.

As well as accountancy and audit services, Hazlewoods provides business advisory services, corporate finance, insolvency and corporate recovery, litigation support, tax advice and financial planning services. Dedicated in-house teams with specialist industry experience serve a number of sectors including agriculture, charities, health and care, dentists, pharmacy, property, innovation, legal and veterinary.