Strategic trade buyers lead the way in M&As

Turnaround investors are facing stiffer competition from trade buyers as the improving economy starts to put mergers and acquisitions back on the corporate agenda, according to new research

Turnaround investors are facing stiffer competition from trade buyers as the improving economy starts to put mergers and acquisitions back on the corporate agenda, according to new research.

In the wake of deals such as the sale in March of North East-based Thompsons builders merchants to Grafton Merchanting, 56% of turnaround investors questioned by KPMG consider trade buyers to be a greater threat in the hunt for stressed or distressed assets than they were twelve months ago.

The research also indicates that the number of turnaround opportunities coming to the table is up on last year; a total of 63% of investors claim to have seen more opportunities over the last 12 months than in the previous year.

Mark Firmin, who leads KPMG’s UK regions restructuring practice, said: “After five years of recession and retrenchment in the M&A market, we are now starting to see strategic trade buyers dip their toes back in the water as they embark on plans for sustainable growth. Having battened down the hatches during the economic storm, many buyers are now sitting on significant war chests, and this renewed confidence is beginning to tempt them back on the acquisition trail.”

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