Belfast Telegraph

Rate of deals done by business 'steady'

By John Mulgrew

Almost two dozen major business deals have taken place in Northern Ireland in the last 12 months, according to a new survey.

The number of M&A (mergers and acquisitions) in Northern Ireland remained "stable" year-on-year, according to the Barclays Entrepreneurs Index.

Both venture capital and private equity funded companies have seen only a slight decrease in number in Northern Ireland since last year's research, each declining by one.

There are 20 venture capital-funded businesses in Northern Ireland, which account for a 6.4% share of the UK's overall VC-funded companies.

Northern Ireland ranks above other areas in the UK, with the Midlands on 12 and the North East having 10. But the value of venture capital investment has fallen by a third - dropping from £3m to £2m.

The report showed that over the past 12 months, 36 "high-growth enterprises have launched in Northern Ireland".

It also says that accounts for a "modest 0.8% share of high-growth companies nationwide", which is the lowest level in the UK.

Jonathan Sloan, Barclays wealth and investment management Northern Ireland, said: "It is positive to see that despite uncertain political and economic conditions, Northern Ireland's entrepreneurial landscape remains steady with VC and private equity backed companies on a par with last year's numbers.

"The significant drop in venture capital investment will create an increasingly difficult environment for entrepreneurs, which is concerning, as the number of high-growth companies in Northern Ireland appears to be lagging behind other regions."

Belfast Telegraph

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