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Growing confidence in mid-market transactions

M&A transactions in the mid-market look set to grow by volume and value over the next twelve months, according to a survey of venture capitalists (VCs) and brokers by Grant Thornton?s quarterly mid-market barometer. More than two-thirds of respondents predict increased volume for mid-market transactions while a further 43% foresee a rise in valuations ? just 6% of VCs and brokers forecast a fall in either volume or valuation. Three main sectors, suggests the research, will see the benefits of improved confidence: business services, healthcare and financial services. Retail, media and telecoms, however, are not considered bright prospects.

?The strong expectations for increased deal activity underline a growing sense of optimism within the market,? says Mat Bhagrath, a partner at Grant Thornton Corporate Finance. ?Business services have long been a hot-spot for a number of investors. As the market begins to push forward, away from the trough of the economic downturn, businesses in general are starting to focus on what they do best.?

Bhagrath highlights the bullish consistency of the healthcare sector though laments investors' cool response to developments in the retail sector: ?The excitement surrounding the possible takeover of M&S by Philip Green and WH Smith by Permira is failing to trickle down and win over potential investors of mid-sized retail groups.

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