Belfast Telegraph

UK firms target Ulster for strategic acquisitions

Uk companies are showing more interest in Northern Ireland as a location for strategic acquisitions, a corporate finance expert said.

BDO's head of corporate finance, Johnny Webb, spoke as its private company price index showed UK corporate deals were up 12.5% in the first six months of this year compared to the previous six months.

More deals were also happening in manufacturing, according to BDO's index.

Mr Webb said the growing mid-market activity was good news for Northern Ireland firms hoping to trade elsewhere in the UK.

"We continue to see increased interest from UK corporates looking to Northern Ireland for strategic acquisition opportunities," Mr Webb said.

"Despite the volatility of financial markets, firms are keen on doing deals to achieve growth targets, particular when other returns on investment remain challenged.

"Future success for Northern Ireland firms will be built on a strong export base, both in Britain, the Republic of Ireland, and further afield. Merger and acquisition activity means companies can develop efficient scale, competitive cost base and industry-leading expertise which results in increased market share locally, nationally and internationally."

Recent Northern Ireland deals, such as Marfrig-owned Moy Park's acquisition of O'Kane, was an example of merger and acquisition activity, according to Mr Webb.

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