Private buyouts return to levels seen before the financial crisis

BUYOUTS of private British companies have neared pre-crisis levels after a slump in previous years, with the value of deals rising 50 per cent last year, according to new figures.

Research from accountants UHY Hacker Young claims that a weak pound, as well as a subdued market for initial public offerings in London, had led to a spree of private deals in the 12 months to the end of July 2012.

The value of the deals during the period hit £18.2bn, up from £12.1bn in 2010-11, and nearing the £19.5bn seen in 2007-08.

This compared to a low point of £6.8bn in the aftermath of 2008’s crash and £12.6bn worth of deals in the year after that.

UHY Hacker Young said the rise had been partly due to the pound’s weakness against the dollar, with big US companies accounting for seven of the 20 biggest transactions. Other proposed reasons for the increase included big firms buying in the absence of organic growth.