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‘BUOYANT PIPELINE’ OF POTENTIAL MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS IN EAST ANGLIA FOLLOWING BUSY 2020, SAYS LEADING CORPORATE FINANCE EXPERT

8th Feb 2021
Matt Crawley corporate finance partner at Lovewell Blake

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was a busy year for mergers and acquisitions in East Anglia, according to one of the region’s leading Corporate Finance experts – and 2021 is set to see similar levels of activity.

Matt Crawley, who heads up the Corporate Finance team at Lovewell Blake, has reported a busy pipeline of deals throughout the year, with little sign that the coronavirus crisis is dampening down appetite for the sale and purchase of businesses.

The Lovewell Blake team advised on over 50 assignments during 2020, with a number of high-value deals sealed during the year in a range of sectors including food and drink, motor dealerships, occupational health, engineering, care, leisure and hospitality.

Amongst the deals brokered by the team in 2020 were the sale of occupational health specialist firm Wrightway Health for £4.5 million, and the sale of care home business Progress Pathways to national operator Achieve Together.

‘’When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, there was uncertainty as to how mergers and acquisitions activity would play out, but over time it is proving to be more and more resilient for both buyers and sellers,” said Mr Crawley.   “Clearly some sectors are having a better time than others – but we are seeing activity across a broad spectrum.

“As well as closing several sales mandates during the year, we have conducted strong strategic acquisitions and dozens of due diligence assignments for private equity houses, national and international consolidators. 

“As we have moved into 2021 there are a great number of conversations taking place, providing indications that this year is going to continue to be extremely active.   

“As the region starts to emerge from the pandemic once the vaccination programme is rolled out more widely, I predict that the flurry of activity will continue, as investors seek to capitalise on any post-COVID bounce by investing and acquiring businesses before the growth curve.’’