Independent Leeds-based advisory firm Dow Schofield Watts has bucked the trend with a rise of more than 25 per cent in the volume and value of deals it advised on during 2018.
Its Corporate Finance and Transaction Services teams advised on 68 deals worth £1.07bn during the year, compared to 54 worth £839m in 2017. The firm also extended its reach nationally during the year with the launch of a new London office and new service lines including Business Planning and Tax Resolution.
During 2018 the Yorkshire and North East office of the firm advised on deals including the investment in the Feel Good Group by Perwyn, the sale of The Car Buying Group to Aston Barclay backed by Rutland Partners, acquisitions by holiday park operator Coppergreen funded by the Business Growth Fund and HSBC, and the MBO of Prohire funded by NorthEdge Capital.
Its private equity arm PHD Equity Partners also celebrated its 10th anniversary with a significant investment in Goole-based chemicals business Technikraft.
Roger Esler, head of the Yorkshire and North East office, said: “2018 has been a landmark year for the firm, with a significant increase in the volume and value of deals. We go into 2019 with a very strong pipeline driven by the excellent availability of a diverse range of capital, active overseas trade buyers and low capital taxes which favour owner managers.”
Sophie Colloby, who heads the Transaction Services team in Yorkshire and the North East, added: “2018 was our strongest performing year to date, no mean feat given the uncertainty in the M&A market. As the Yorkshire and North East office approaches its seventh anniversary, the firm is now firmly established in the region as a leading independent deal adviser.”