Much has been made over recent months about the level of uncertainty surrounding UK plc. Whilst the Brexit mood music remains at best confused, the global economy continues to recover apace.
So what does all of this mean for the business owner or the ambitious manager? The answers are different for each but linked by a common thread that we at Springboard have seen time and again over the last 12-18 months.
For the business owner there has never been a better time to consider value realisation options. The UK remains a hugely attractive location for trade acquirors, true the devaluation of sterling has buoyed this, but there are more fundamental drivers at play. We have advised on deals with both German and Danish acquirors over recent months whilst the appetite from the US remains undimmed. The current capital tax environment remains the most benign it has been for years and all commentators are agreed it can only worsen over time (worsen is a total understatement if we see a change of government).
For the ambitious manager then funding is there to deliver an MBO. Private equity funding is as plentiful as it has ever been. PE houses are now regularly outbidding trade players whilst the buy and build strategies of PE businesses are no longer the exception but form the key element of most PE houses investment theses. For a manager these are exciting times. We are working with a number of management teams to help them deliver ambitious acquisition plans alongside their already fast growing core businesses.
So to that common thread – its ambition and drive. It’s a belief that the UK economy has faced headwinds of many and various types over recent years but has endured. Its also a recognition that business is about dealing with generational challenges such as the knowledge, economy and globalisation as much those local difficulties the politicians manufacture to try our patience. It is not about blindly carrying on and ignoring the world around you but for sure its recognising that standing still is not an option.