Foreign buyers of UK companies dropped 11 per cent in the last quarter


The number of acquisitions of UK companies by foreign buyers dropped 11% in Q4 2018 to 142, down from 159 in Q4 2017, as Brexit uncertainty stalls deal making, shows research by Pinsent Masons, the international law firm.

Pinsent Masons says that due to Brexit uncertainties, EU buyers are increasingly adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach before making investment decisions. The number of acquisitions of UK companies by EU buyers fell to 43 in Q4 2018, down 22% from 55 in Q4 2017.

This slowdown has also led to UK companies holding back from making any divestments in order to ensure assets are not sold at unfavourable prices. A fall in divestments may mean a slowdown in the essential restructuring of some UK businesses.

Andrew McMillan, partner at Pinsent Masons said, “Fears over the outcome of Brexit have intensified, choking bids for UK companies.

“European buyers of UK companies have been particularly skittish in recent months which likely reflects the greater exposure they already have to the potential fallout from Brexit.”