UK remains strong technology M&A player despite Brexit

Technology companies in the UK have continued to perform strongly in the M&A market despite the looming worry of Brexit, according to new figures.

A report from advisory form Hampleton Partners has found that one in ten of all technology M&A deals in the first half of the year concerned British companies, showing that, for now at least, the market for new deals remains strong.

Overall, the company documented 308 deals accounting for disclosed values of around $24 billion so far this year – in spite of the global market actually slowing down slightly.

The $490 million sale of online insurer Simply Business to US group Travelers back in March was the biggest deal in this time period, demonstrating that UK companies remain an attractive proposition for the time being.

AI-related companies saw the biggest rise in deals, with acquisitions of such businesses soaring 179 per cent, compared to the first half of 2016.

In the fintech and IT sectors, the UK benefited from more funds from US investors than any other European country, and Hampleton believes that the country is set to “dominate European deal share…even with ongoing concern about Brexit”.

“M&A and funding is accelerating in select sectors, as more ‘non-technology’ or traditional companies and private equity firms move to acquire and invest in technology and innovation,” Hampleton’s Miro Parizek said.

“Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality or virtual reality and cybersecurity are three of the most promising sectors for technology M&A right now.”

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