Looking for some bright spots in the current summer gloom


I am sure like me many people cannot wait for August to end. Incessant rain, doom and gloom about the UK economy, UK house prices and the England football team (again). For those of you who have had your summer holidays they are all just a distant memory, whereas those of you like me who are imminently due to go on holiday face yet more potential disruptions with the threat of the BAA employees’ strike.

Traditionally the summer months see a tail-off of deal activity as company owners and deal rainmakers alike take some time off to recharge batteries before returning to embark on the autumn deal making season. However, yesterday we published our review of UK deal activity for the month of July and it made for some interesting reading.

Numbers of deals remain low, and this is a trend that is visible all across Europe at the moment. But there were some bright spots in terms of deal value and some very big deals were announced. Deal activity where UK-based companies were the target rose for the third consecutive month in July 2010 to £21bn from £11bn in June. July also saw six deals over £1bn announced, the first time that has happened since October 2008.

What’s more PE buyers, not just in the UK but globally, seem to have emerged blinking in to the summer sunlight (unless they are based in the UK that is) with a post enforced and extended hibernation appetite to do deals. Whilst deal values are nowhere near 2007 levels, the last few months would certainly suggest we are approaching a corner to be turned.

And that gives me hope for the deal making community when I return from my holiday – should I actually get there!