Brexit ‘no impact’ on corporate deals

Kevan Shaw, Castle Square Corporate Finance
Kevan Shaw, Castle Square Corporate Finance

A Sheffield corporate finance company says the Brexit vote made no impact on deals last year and growth has continued in to 2017.

Castle Square Corporate Finance enjoyed a ‘strong year’ in 2016 with a series of big transactions including the £25 million fundraising and acquisition of the Piper Dam Holiday Park in Scotland for Coppergreen Developments, owned by Sheffield couple Donna and David Copley.

It also handled the pan-European merger of UK-based Collcap Packaging with Quadpack Industries, creating a €90m revenue group, and the acquisition of Tarmac’s landfill business by Red Industrial Holdings for £8.5m.

Director Kevan Shaw said 2017 started well with the completion in January of a £6m management buy-out at ALCA Fasteners in Wednesbury, West Midlands, and a “healthy-looking pipeline” of 11 live transactions.

He added: “There was uncertainty in 2016 caused by the Brexit issue.

“The companies we have worked with all delivered a strong overall performance in 2016, although it was clear that growth flattened in the months either side of the vote – but picked up strongly in the second half of the year.

“As a firm, the Brexit issue did not impact on any of our transactions and it is almost as if the vote itself caused uncertainty, but once lifted, growth has continued.

“We are seeing the mergers and acquisitions market remain buoyant and the funding markets continue to develop, driven by the many challenger banks, specialist asset-backed lenders and new institutional debt funds providing alternatives to the major banks.

“Private equity firms are also well funded, providing significant funding possibilities for quality businesses with strong management teams.”

Live assignments include five management buy-outs, two disposal instructions, three acquisitions for corporate clients, including one overseas, and one refinancing, he added.

In 2016, Castle Square also advised Colonial Group International on its acquisition of pensions administration company MCT, in a £4m deal.