RSM's corporate finance team has been named most active M&A financial advisers in London and the North West in 2020 in the latest Experian data. RSM also clinched the second spot in South East and Yorkshire and the Humber.
In total, RSM advised on 141 completed deals in 2020, including 63 in London, 32 in the South East and 26 in the North West - taking third place in the national league table.
Overall, Experian recorded 5,867 transactions in 2020, down 15 per cent on 2019 mainly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Q2; but the market adapted to logistical challenges in completions and came back strong in the second half of the year.
Kirsty Sandwell, partner and head of corporate finance at RSM comments: ‘After the initial shock of Covid-19, the deals market has recovered well; and in some ways exceeded expectations with the levels of activity. Transactions within technology, media and telecoms and info comms have been busy due to increased need for technology to support working and entertainment during global lockdowns. Health and real estate sectors were acutely impacted in 2020 with deal volumes declining 47 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, when compared to 2019.
‘As we look ahead to deal activity in 2021, we expect to see an uplift in real estate deals due to changes in the commercial market, but values will be down. In addition, once the pressure of Covid-19 recedes, we expect to see a recovery in the health sector. There will also be a trickle of smaller financial services and manufacturing transactions coming through; but info comms is likely to remain a key driver of activity in 2021.
‘There will also be an increase in distress activity with key sectors keenly hit by the pandemic, including retail and travel. The pandemic has accelerated change in many areas, and we are likely to see more traditional, established brands being bought up by dynamic, acquisitive online players.’