Yorkshire’s M&A activity fell by almost half

Andrea Cropley, partner and head of corporate at Irwin Mitchell in the north.

Andrea Cropley, partner and head of corporate at Irwin Mitchell in the north.

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Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity amongst Yorkshire-based manufacturing companies fell by 44 per cent in the last quarter compared to the first three months of 2015.

The number of manufacturing deals involving county companies in the first half of the year is also 81 percent lower than it was at the same stage in 2014.

The figures were revealed by Sheffield-based law firm Irwin Mitchell, which analysed data provided by Experian, the global information service.

Yorkshire companies’ share of manufacturing deals across England fell to 8.5 per cent compared to last year when it is was 12.3 per cent. The current figure for this year is the lowest it has been since 2012 when it was just seven per cent.

In addition, the level of deal activity amongst Yorkshire-based manufacturing companies was down by a third on levels seen in the North West after the first six months of the year. Nationally, M&A activity in the sector in the first half of the year stood at 257 - 10 per cent lower than in 2014. Yorkshire manufacturing companies were the subject of only four per cent of the deals in the sector which were backed by private equity.

The position in Yorkshire mirrors the national picture where the number of private equity backed transactions in the sector fell by 10 per cent. Less than one in 10 manufacturing deals completed during the six months of 2015 was financed through private equity – the lowest proportion since 2012.

Andrea Cropley, partner and head of corporate at Irwin Mitchell in the north, said: “These figures are disappointing but perhaps reflect the uncertainty around the General Election and also the general fall in output across the sector.”