A new report suggests that levels of investment and investor confidence in Greater Manchester have begun to grow over the last year at a relatively strong rate after the rapid decline associated with the 2008/09 financial crisis.
The paper, which focuses on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and corporate finance activity in Greater Manchester, indicates that over the last decade Manchester has experienced consistently higher levels of M&A activity compared to similar UK city regions.
The report also highlights confidence in deal activity appears to be returning with three consecutive quarters of growth from the final quarter of 2009.
Although the majority of businesses bidding to invest in Manchester companies have originated locally, a significant amount of deal activity has also stemmed from London and the South East – a reflection of the growing strength of Greater Manchester’s business base.
Internationally, the paper highlights the importance of the USA and Europe in terms of cross-border deals, with 39% of deals originating from the USA and 44% from Europe, whilst recognising the emerging economies (particularly Brazil, Russia, India and China) will undoubtedly be an increasingly important source of future investment.
Alex Cole, Senior Economic Analyst at New Economy, the paper’s author said “This research shows that there has been strong and growing investor confidence in Greater Manchester businesses over the last decade, especially in the City Region’s financial and professional services firms. The fact that this confidence appears to be returning bodes well for the strength of the Greater Manchester private sector.”
Steven Lindsay, Corporate Finance Partner from CLB Coopers said “It seems that activity is picking up and should continue to do so, even if not to pre-2008 levels. CLB Coopers has advised on six deals since July 2010, worth a total of £40m, and we have more deals expected to complete in early 2011 – which seems to fit with the findings of the paper. Hopefully the availability of funding and confidence levels for potential purchasers will continue to improve.”