UK retains European dealmakers title as execs gravitate to "powerhouse of intellectual property-rich companies"

Oliver Gill
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Only the US and China beat the UK in EY's survey of almost 3,000 top execs (Source: Getty)

Global dealmakers are shrugging off Brexit concerns with Britain retaining top spot as the favoured place in Europe to invest, a report released today has found.

A survey of nearly 3,000 global execs revealed the UK was the world's third top investment destination, pipped only by the US and China.

Britain fended off continental competition from Germany, in fourth place, and France, in seventh.

"Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the UK remains a powerhouse of intellectual property-rich companies across a range of sectors," the report, authored by accountancy giant EY found.

While Brexit continues to dominate news headlines about the UK, the M&A market continues to show resilience. Domestic combinations, inbound acquisitions targeting assets in technology and industrials, and outbound deals targeting higher growth markets have all featured prominently in 2017.

The report continued: "Even though the pace of economic growth is declining in the near term, and negotiations with the EU are still uncertain, the openness of the UK to dealmaking has supported its position as the third largest M&A market in 2017."

Read more: UK M&A deals tail off as sentiment weakens post-Brexit

Financial crisis

Global executives told EY they had greater confidence in global economic growth at any time since the financial crisis.

Steve Krouskos, EY global vice chair of transaction advisory services said: "M&A may not be making as many headlines of late, but executives clearly plan to make strategic headway through acquisitions.

While we have seen few megadeals, due to regulatory and antitrust concerns, buyers are still busy making strategically important investments. With 57 per cent of executives expecting the M&A market to improve over the next 12 months, smaller and smarter deals will also be prominent as companies reshape their portfolios to respond to disruptive forces.

Read more: Flurry of global M&A activity on the horizon for remainder of 2017

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