Garbutt + Elliott completes £180M value deals in 2020 in spite of pandemic
Deals worth around £180m have been completed by the corporate finance team at Yorkshire accountants and business advisers Garbutt + Elliott in the last 12 months, despite the pandemic and months of lockdowns.
More than 65 UK-wide transactions were handled by the team, which operates from the firm’s York and Leeds offices, including several outside its traditional Yorkshire and Humber heartland.
Transactions included mergers and acquisitions, management buyouts and buy-ins, company restructuring, debt and equity funding with significant deals in retail, engineering, food and drink and a range of businesses increasing online sales.
Although deals activity continued during the first lockdown from March, the corporate finance team applied its expertise to help businesses secure a total of £45m in Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans from the Government.
This money went to the most badly hit sectors in retail, leisure, hospitality, manufacturing, waste management and construction.
Head of corporate finance, Tony Farmer, says: “This has been an extremely challenging year for everyone but we are pleased with what we have achieved for our clients.
“We quickly responded to fast-changing market conditions by focusing on client needs and delivering on time with reduced risk.
“We have a very good deals pipeline and, unlike the banking crisis, the money supply remains good so we are confident we can deliver another strong result in 2021, aided by the timely availability of several vaccines which provide hope for a V-shaped recovery.
“However, we face an uncertain outlook for some time with the worst economic contraction for three centuries as outlined in the Chancellor’s autumn statement.
“This means business owners considering selling should plan now and ensure they are properly advised, as some commentators have forecast it is likely the Chancellor will raise capital gains tax in line with income tax and there maybe only a short window of opportunity.
“There are likely to be some business failures as sectors that have struggled during the pandemic thin out, giving rise to mergers and acquisitions.
“Also, some business owners may decide to hand down to younger management teams with greater energy and adaptability for future challenges, including any disruption from Brexit.
“Much depends on the speed and strength of economic recovery but overall there will be plenty of opportunities for buyers. I’m optimistic that values will remain strong for good quality businesses.”
The firm strengthened its corporate finance team in 2020 with the internal promotion of two directors, Nick Barker and Stephen Garbett, and the appointment of Rob Burton from an international firm in West Yorkshire as a partner in its Leeds office.