According to the Federation of Small Businesses, SMEs make up 99.3% of businesses in the UK and generate £1.9tn in annual turnover
SMEs are displaying their most promising growth intentions since the second quarter of 2017. With the overwhelming majority expecting to remain at their current size or grow during the next 12 months. More than 75% have steady or increased employment levels.
According to chartered accountants haysmacintyre, the prospects of continued confidence growth sparked an increase in M&A activity. In the first quarter of 2018, 681 global M&A transactions involving UK companies took place, with a total value of about £90.8bn. The value of these transactions was more than twice as large as that for the fourth quarter of 2017.
Much of the M&A activity involved foreign companies entering the UK market by buying domestic companies, with 133 global M&A transactions closing at a value of about £8.3bn
As outlined in the haysmacintyre report, both large and small tech companies are keen to grow. This will be through acquiring new talent and capabilities and expanding into new sectors. Technological innovation should continue its growth for the rest of this year. Haysmacintyre expects that larger tech companies in the UK and abroad will keep up the pace of buying smaller, innovative UK-based companies.
Buyers will express interest in acquiring companies in sectors where they do not have current operations. Targeted UK companies will have experience in both the UK and other EU countries. This is especially important for foreign companies that might need help in understanding new markets.
The interest in UK tech companies by larger foreign entities has led to an inflow of capital that is fuelling this year’s increase in M&A activity. More than three times as much investment has gone to UK-based tech companies than to any other country in Europe.
The UK is known as the tech unicorn capital of Europe, giving it a worldwide reputation as a technology innovator. The combination of innovation and European market experience makes UK tech companies especially attractive to buyers from the US.
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