Insights & News

Your two minute guide to Scottish acquisition activity

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With around 600 transactions completing in 2016, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in Scotland remains robust in comparison with many other parts of the UK, as our fascinating infographic shows.

BCMS constantly tracks acquisition trends worldwide, while also surveying business owners on what challenges and hurdles they are most concerned about.

Scotland M&A Infographic

Overseas interest

Landmark Scottish transactions in 2016 include the acquisition of Edinburgh travel firm Skyscanner by Chinese travel group Ctrip. American corporations have also been returning to Scotland, including the US group behind Jack Daniels snapping up Moray whisky distillery BenRiach for $285m.

National footprint

Meanwhile, many smaller acquisitions were driven by acquirers looking to add geographic coverage as part of building a national footprint. This is a perennial trend but has been particularly prevalent recently in Scotland’s ‘white collar’ economy, from IT services and recruitment to professional services firms.

Scots on the acquisitions trail

On the buyside too, Scottish firms remain on the march. Edinburgh lab-testing firm Exova snapped up a smaller Yorkshire rival last year as it continues its remarkable growth story.

We also saw further evidence of the blurring of technology and services, with Aberdeen Asset Management acquiring Bristol fintech SME Parmenion. But nothing stands still for long in the world of acquisitions, and Aberdeen Asset Management was itself acquired by Edinburgh’s Standard Life in March 2017.



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Posted Apr 2017
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