EY's dealmakers in the North advised on transactions worth nearly £3.8bn in 2022

Professional services firm EY’s strategy and transactions teams in the North of England advised on deals worth a total of nearly £3.8bn in 2022.

EY’s teams in the North are optimistic about the prospects for the deal market in 2023, despite a challenging economic backdrop.

The team provided professional guidance in connection with three deals which were worth more than half a billion pounds each last year, with the £740mn divestment of Saint Gobain’s merchanting brands to STARK Group the highest value transaction of 2022.

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Another significant deal EY helped seal was the £667mn divestment, by East Yorkshire-based Croda, of its performance technologies and industrial chemicals business to a wholly-owned subsidiary of global food corporation Cargill Inc.

Mark Clephan of EYMark Clephan of EY
Mark Clephan of EY

Mark Clephan, EY North Corporate Finance Partner, said: “At EY, we invested very significantly in our people and capability across the North in 2022, and I am therefore not surprised, but nonetheless proud, of the size, complexity and importance of the transactions we advised on last year.

Mr Clephan added: “Looking forward to 2023, the outlook remains uncertain, but we remain confident that the deals market will start steadily and improve throughout the year.

"Uncertainty persists over key business input costs and expenses, and similarly there is flux in end markets. However, consumer trends and volatile costs early in the year will likely improve, and growing confidence should facilitate increasing deal volumes.

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“Deals are completed in times of both recession or economic growth; it is uncertainty that threatens transactions.

"We are seeing increasing confidence and believe that the picture will show consistent improvement throughout 2023.”

In a statement, EY said: “With sustainability growing in importance for businesses and society alike, there was a boost for clean technology in the North of England in Q4 (the fourth quarter) of 2022 as EY acted as lead adviser to Iduna as they secured up to £110m of funding from Octopus Energy Generation for their Manchester-based electric vehicle charging infrastructure business, Be.EV.

“Significant appetite to invest in technology was also evident in 2022, with businesses continuing to pursue the largely untapped potential of digital capabilities.”

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Last year’s technology sector deals acted on by EY included SymphonyAI’s acquisition of financial crime detection business, NetReveal, from defence contractor BAE Systems; the sale of Warrington-based software company Talos360 to Lloyds Development Capital Limited (LDC); and the purchase of salesforce consultancy, Pexlify, by Japanese PR and advertising firm, Dentsu Group.

Bosses at EY expects to see the technology sector continue to feature prominently in the 2023 deals market.

It is predicted that businesses will place an emphasis on maximising both efficiency and innovation through digital transformation this year.