Corporate team see uptick in cross border deals

Posted on: January 2nd, 2018

In the last year the Corporate team at Coffin Mew has seen a healthy increase in the number of deals involving an international element which, for the most part, have originated since the Brexit vote in June 2016.

Despite initial fears in the media that the market might dry up as a result of the decision to leave, there have been plenty of cross border deals taking place. The team has been working on both sides of transactions involving buyers or investors from countries including the US, China, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Iceland, Germany, France and particularly the Netherlands.

The reason for there being so many cross border deals could be as a result of companies recognising a need to have a foothold in the UK before Brexit takes place. There may be a fear that having an office in the EU may not be sufficient for dealing with UK market and that a presence is needed in the UK itself.

It could also be that that the weakening of the pound has been seen as an opportunity for foreign entities to buy or invest in the UK market at a better price, especially if the pound is expected to strengthen once Brexit takes place. We have, however, also been told that there is a lot to be said about the compliance and regulatory regime in the UK, as well as the reduction in the rate of Corporation Tax, which makes the UK an attractive proposition for inward investment going forward.

Whatever the reasons may be, it is a welcome relief to the doom and gloom that often surrounds Brexit and it provides greater choice to business owners when it comes to finding a buyer or investor. Rather than having to wait for a suitable UK company to sell to, or seek investment from, there is the opportunity to look further afield. Hopefully this trend will continue into 2018 and allow owners to not only sell, when they’re ready to, but to also find potential opportunities to merge and grow across international borders.

To support Coffin Mew’s strategic growth plan and Pathway to 2020, the firm has seen the welcome addition of Dominic Travers as a new partner in the Corporate team and also Alexander Wood, who has a large amount of experience in working with private equity, as partner in the Insolvency and Restructuring team.

James Kitching is a Solicitor in the Corporate team at Coffin Mew.