Private equity interest in small British companies survives Brexit uncertainty

 
William Turvill
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EU Referendum - Signage And Symbols
The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June (Source: Getty)

Private equity interest in small UK companies was largely unperturbed by Brexit uncertainty last year, new research out today suggests.

Lyceum Capital and Cass Business School tracked 82 buyouts and small and medium sized businesses over the year, 42 in the first half and 40 in the second, worth a total £3.33bn.

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The report, which focuses on companies with enterprise values of between £10m and £100m, said this was just below the five-year high of 87 deals recorded in 2015.

The telecoms, media and tech sector was described as a “standout performer”, with 20 investments over the course of the year, up 67 per cent on 2015.

Andrew Aylwin, a partner at Lyceum, said:

Few would have predicted such a buoyant environment for new private equity investments in the UK lower midmarket in 2016 given the uncertainty created by the referendum result.

Despite a slowdown of buyout activity on a macro level, the UK mid-market has bucked the trend.

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Scott Moeller, director of the M&A Research Centre at Cass, added:

Exposure to companies in this segment is clearly appealing to investors, both domestic and foreign, and the attractiveness that we saw building throughout the year has been maintained. This gives us confidence that we will continue to see strength in this segment going into the new year.

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