A West Midlands corporate finance specialist is predicting an upturn in merger and acquisition activity in 2014.
Mark Selby, director at Baldwins Accountants, has been involved in two major deals towards the end of this year.
West Bromwich company Tentec, which specialises in the design and manufacture of bolt-tightening equipment, was acquired by global industrial group Atlas Copco, while SC Feeds in Staffordshire was bought by UK-wide specialist agricultural and distribution business NWF Group plc.
Mr Selby, who has 18 years’ experience in the industry, said the number of owners of high-quality businesses starting to seriously contemplate selling their companies was beginning to increase.
“I think more quality businesses will be sold in 2014,” he said.
“Our evidence shows there will continue to be a mixture of acquisitions in 2014 and that good deals are still being done.”
He said that many companies had retained their value in the market place despite the economic climate, adding: “In 2013, we achieved deals at really, really good prices which underlines that good, quality businesses which are profitable, well run and have carved out a niche for themselves will always attract interest.
He said he had advised on other transactions which did not rely on traditional funding - signalling a change in the way acquisitions were being financed.
“It is interesting to note that none relied on the ability of the acquirer to fund the transactions solely using UK bank debt.”
• Data released recently indicated that the West Midlands had fallen behind rival UK regions in terms of merger and acquisition investment from abroad.