MHA Tait Walker Corporate Finance team are celebrating a record year in 2020 completing over £100m worth of deals for North East businesses. Despite the current economic climate due to the pandemic, the team, which is led by Corporate Finance Partner Steve Plaskitt, has advised on 22 deals both nationally and internationally, as well as being ranked by Experian as the 2nd most active Corporate Finance advisory firm in North East during the first 9 months of 2020 in the MarketIQ M&A League Tables. The team was also recently shortlisted for four Insider Dealmaker Awards including Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year.

It advised on two of the largest corporate transactions in the North East in the year and both were companies sold to US buyers. North East Manufacturers HTL Group and a strategic international acquisition for Orchard Information Systems, a leading provider of software solutions to the UK housing sector, as well as Northumbrian Roads Limited to LafargeHolcim Group and other sales of SMEs to UK plcs and private equity-backed acquisitive groups.

Steve Plaskitt, Partner at MHA Tait Walker Corporate Finance said: “2020 was a year unlike any other in living memory and the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic spreading across the world and its impact upon UK businesses and the M&A activity has been massive.

“Yet within the world of SMEs in the North there have been some success stories, some great examples of new investment, of new business models, and of M&A transactions. “We worked extremely hard in difficult circumstances to complete some key strategic deals for North East businesses helping them to grow their businesses.

“Our clients are planning for the future and looking for opportunities to develop their businesses. Looking forward to 2021 there is genuine and realistic hope that the UK can return to a new normal in the second half of the year. M&A activity will continue to be vendor-initiated management buy outs for non-core trading assets or sales of companies to tax effective Employee Ownership Trusts. Similarly, overseas buyers, cash rich public companies and UK Private Equity funds will be able to offer great value for niche, resilient businesses in IT, manufacturing, and utility services.

“Our view is that good management teams and businesses with strong cashflows, underpinned by a sound business model will continue to attract domestic and international interest from trade buyers in 2021.”