M&A momentum returns as RSM’s corporate finance deals reach £1 billion in 2021

Corporate Finance activity reached over £1 billion for RSM in 2021 Q1, as activity doubled in both volume and value when compared to 2020 Q1. From January to March 2021, 70 transactions were completed by RSM, a sizable increase of 34 from the same quarter in the previous year. 

The RSM team delivered deals with a value of £1.1bn at the start of the year, up 95.6 per cent from the same time last year. The sharp rise in transactions can largely be explained by confidence regained in boardrooms as businesses are able to open up and national restrictions eased with the vaccine roll out.

After a challenging year for many businesses the deals market has recovered well. Technology, infrastructure and businesses who benefit from government spend have exceeded expectations, private equity liquidity and the threat of capital gains tax increases has also driven activity. As a result of the growth RSM strengthened its corporate finance team with 11 new hires joining the London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Reading offices.

Kirsty Sandwell, partner and head of transactions at RSM, comments: ‘There was little surprise we have seen an uptick in work, and RSM’s success this year is in part down to the experience of our corporate finance team and the strength of the relationships with our clients.

‘Looking ahead, science and technology remain front and centre with £15bn committed by government to push Britain towards “scientific super-power” status. Companies in biotech and the wider tech sector will have enjoyed the endorsement and we expect to see this sector lead on M&A’s in 2021. Businesses will also remain acutely aware of the Chancellors commitment to infrastructure.

‘Brexit related uncertainty remains a focus for businesses. But looking at M&A activity, rather than the political backdrop as a predictor of business sentiment, the data is encouraging.

‘However, this year will still present challenges for the retail, hospitality and commercial real estate sectors. The types of deals in these sectors will likely change as businesses re-assess where they are, look to dispose of non-core assets and re-balance finances.’