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RSM UK hits £4.5bn deal value in 2022, as liquidity set to drive M&A in 2023

02 FEBRUARY 2023

Leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK advised on over 200 deals throughout 2022, with a combined value of £4.46bn, marking the end of another standout year.

The team advised on a range of high-profile deals, including advising Heatmiser on its sale to IMI plc; advising on the corporate carve-outs for IDEAL Industries Inc. of Casella to TSI Instruments Ltd and CMD Limited to Rubicon Partners; providing vendor due diligence services on the exit of Talon Outdoor by Mayfair Equity Partners to Equistone Partners Europe; advising LDC on its significant investment in ETrading Software Limited; and advising Hickory’s Smokehouse on their sale to Greene King.

RSM invested in senior talent with the appointments of John Bryant as a corporate finance partner in the M&A team and Colin Ferguson as corporate finance director in the due diligence team.

The firm also promoted its own team with Sarah Barry, Nick Wyatt and Ed Pipe becoming partners in April and Mark Leyland, James Bull, Jacob Moore, Ben Ducker, James Atkinson and Helen Gibson all becoming directors in October.

Kirsty Sandwell, partner and national head of transactions at RSM UK comments: ‘The outlook for 2022 started well. Low interest rates and high liquidity presented conditions for a buoyant market and a positive year ahead. But the advent of war in Europe, surging inflation, rising interest rates and impending recession combined to slow capital markets. Banks reduced leverage to manage exposure and acquirers became more selective. Today, the same fundamental challenges remain. And recession is underway, or imminent. All eyes point to Q4 as the point at which economic recovery kicks in.

‘In the meantime, cash circulating in the market will drive a stronger level of M&A activity. Indeed, the capital that institutional investors have committed to PE funds that has not yet been deployed is close to an all-time high, at $1.24 trillion globally, nearly a quarter of which sits in Europe. The race to quality and safer havens will continue, as will downward pressure on tech stock valuations. Software, communications, financial services and tech-enabled businesses remain the most attractive propositions.

‘Expert services such as data analytics, financial modelling and due diligence remain in high demand, and buyers will continue to factor capacity issues into deal planning in 2023.’