UK private equity firms have shrugged off Brexit concerns and nearly doubled their acquisitions of corporations on the continents last year compared to 2020, new data has revealed. According to research from the independent financial consulting firm Accuracy, acquisitions rose from 245 in 2020 to 442 in 2021.
This is an increase of 80 percent with 50 percent more deals made in the latter half of 2021.
Accuracy partner Charlene Burridge told City A.M. that investment remains “attractive” on the continent despite fears that Brexit would “stifle” business there.
She said: “UK private equity acquisitions of European companies bounced back sharply in 2021 as firms made up for time lost during the pandemic.
“Despite fears that regulatory and legal changes stemming from Brexit would stifle deal making, European corporates remain attractive investment opportunities for UK private equity firms.”
European software and tech firms accounted for more than a third of the UK private equity investment.
Global private equity activity into Europe rose in 2021, spiking more than 45 percent. Domestic activity in the UK increased more than 65 percent during the same time period.
Following a slowdown in activity in 2020, largely attributed to the pandemic, private equity firms were keen to increase transactions in 2021.
Last year global deals hit £4.8trillion ($5.9trillion), a 64 percent increase in 2021.
The news is the latest in a series of boons for British businesses, earlier this year the Prime Minister pledged to bring forward his “Brexit Freedoms Bill” to further EU cut red tape.
The Bill will make it easier to amend or remove “outdated retained EU law” or law leftover from Britain’s time in the European Union.
The Government claims that the Bill will cut £1billion of red tape for UK businesses and ease regulatory burdens.
The Prime Minister said: “Our new Brexit Freedoms Bill will end the special status of EU law in our legal framework and ensure that we can more easily amend or remove outdated EU law in future.”
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The Attorney General for England and Wales Suella Braverman claimed that the bill would remove EU laws which had “no democratic legitimacy” and would allow the UK to set up its own regulatory laws scrutinised by Parliament.
She said: “It means we can move away from outdated EU laws that were the result of unsatisfactory compromises within the EU, some of which the UK voted and lobbied against – but were required to adopt without question.
“These rules often had limited meaningful parliamentary scrutiny, and no democratic legitimacy in the UK at all.
“It is vital that we take the steps necessary, in this Parliament, to remove unnecessary rules altogether, and where regulation is needed, ensure that it meets the UK’s objectives.”