Azets Corporate Finance Team Reveals Record Year


Azets South West & Wales’ specialist corporate finance team had their most successful year in 2021, the accountancy firm said.

The team, led by Katherine Broadhurst, completed 28 deals during the year for a total value of £145million.

Activities including commercial sales, management buyouts and acquisitions have been undertaken by the team for clients who operate in a range of industries.

With regional offices in Gloucester and Cheltenham, the firm has also worked on several employee share ownership trusts which are becoming increasingly popular, due to the tax relief available for businesses and suitable transactions.

Katherine Broadhurst, Partner at Azets, said: “With Brexit and COVID being the main drivers of transactions, the uncertainty has led buyers to seek to secure or strengthen their access to the market or resources, and sellers who have shown resilience and adaptability in these uncertain times, able to take advantage of it.

“Interestingly, the most active industry over the past year was wholesale, retail and distribution, accounting for around 25% of total deals closed. Within this sector, however, there are a number of more resilient subsectors that have capitalized on growth with increased online shopping and home leisure activities as restrictions are lifted.

“However, with the recent ramp-up of the Omicron variant and the risk of further tightening of restrictions, resilience and adaptability will remain key, with due diligence focusing on sustainability of benefits.

“On top of this, the challenges of cross-border supply chains continue to be evident due to the continued implications of Brexit – in some industries internalizing profits by acquiring vertically into the supply chain is a way to manage inflationary pressures currently evident in the market.”

Despite the market facing the biggest financial challenges since 2008, the success of the Azets South West and Wales Corporate Finance team would be reflected across the broader market, with Mergermarket statistics for the first 3 quarters of 2021 showing that transactions from merger and acquisition involving a UK target had already significantly exceeded those for the whole of 2020 – both in number and value.

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