The UK Industrial sector had a very strong 2017, with over 460 deals completed, highlighted for our team by the completion of a range of disposals for both listed plc’s, as well as a range of exciting owner-manager and private equity-owned assets. 2018 has started more slowly with 79 deals completing in Q1 across the UK Industrial space.
Despite the slowdown in activity pricing overall remained strong with average multiples of EBITDA in line with the robust pricing achieved in H1 2017 and well ahead of H2 2017.
It is unclear at this stage whether uncertainty in international trade related to the introduction of some punitive tariffs between the US and China over steel and produce (and indirectly Europe) is softening investment appetite or whether this is a one-quarter blip/a hangover from a bumper year. Within UK manufacturing sentiment remains robust, with the latest PMI score of 55% well above its longer-term average of 53.4% and factory output rising at c.0.5% per quarter.
In any regard, we are entering Q2 with a strong pipeline both in the UK and across our global Industrial team and we look forward to working with you all soon.