Cross border tech deals involving NW firms more than doubles

The number of outbound cross-border deals involving north west technology, media and telecoms (TMT) businesses over the last two years has more than doubled. This is according to new analysis from Deloitte and Experian.

It was found that TMT businesses in the region were involved in a total of 27 outbound transactions involving 14 countries since 2015, compared to 11 transactions with seven countries the two previous years.

Global cyber security and risk mitigation specialist, NCC Group, remains the highest value north west bidder over the past two years for its acquisition of Dutch cyber security company, Fox-IT, for almost £94m.

The second highest disclosed outbound deal was the £79m acquisition of Dutch supply chain and information management solutions provider LeanLogistics Inc by Manchester-based logistics software developer Kewill Topco Ltd.

Inward investment in the region’s TMT sector has also continued to grow, with the number of deals in the last two years reaching 48, an increase of 20 compared to the same analysis from last year.

Sir Howard Bernstein and Richard Bell

The £250m acquisition of life science manufacturer Alfa Aesarchina Ltd, by US-based Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., was the largest of all 75 disclosed inbound and outbound transactions involving North West TMT firms since January 2015.

Other notable inbound deals include Japanese electronics giant Toshiba Corporation’s £110m acquisition of a further 40 per cent stake in NuGeneration Ltd, a Cumbrian land holder for nuclear development, and the £100m acquisition of utilities data management and software developer, Utiligroup Ltd, by US energy solutions provider, Energy Services Group LLC.

This analysis highlights a continued trend in the north west TMT market with US firms dominating investment. Ten of the 27 outbound deals involved target companies based in the US, and of the 48 inbound cross-border deals, 19 were from US bidders.

Claire Jolly, head of TMT at Deloitte in the region, said: “Year on year we are seeing the rates of investment in north west TMT businesses grow rapidly. The number of deals involving US firms is particularly encouraging, given that it’s a market renowned for its technology industry.

“The fact a north west business has been acquired for more than £250m, and that the number of outbound deals has more than doubled, strengthens the region’s position as a global leader in the TMT sector.”

Sir Howard Bernstein, strategic advisor at Deloitte added: “This analysis is a reflection of the region’s potential as a hub for technology innovation, and acts as a key indicator for the North West’s imperative role in supporting the wider Northern Powerhouse.”

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