Number of Overseas Investments by UK Businesses up 13%

Business confidence on the rise as more firms invest overseas with transactions doubling to £69.5bn in 2014 – the highest in seven years

UK business overseas investment rose by 13% this year, with outbound deals up from 502 to 566, according to a new report.

The research, released by global information company Experian, revealed the value of transactions has doubled in 2014, totalling £69.5bn compared to £33.9bn in 2013.

The findings also highlighted what regions and industries conducted the greatest number of overseas investments as well as what type of deals were most popular.

In regards to the busiest sectors, manufacturing lead the way with a total of £23bn worth of international deals; followed by professional, scientific and technical services (£13.3bn) and the information and communication industry (£34.6bn).

Regionally, London was the forerunner with 41.8% of the UK’s overall overseas deals, totalling £181m; followed by the South East at £36m and the South West at £11m. Whilst Northern Ireland experienced the biggest year-on-year growth in volume of deals.

In relation to size of overseas deals, medium-sized investment worth £10m to £100m was the most popular – increasing to 123 from last year’s 86. Mega-deals (worth over£1bn) doubled to 16 over the year and large deals (worth £100m to £1bn) also rose to 53 from 2013’s 36. The only decline was in small investments, ranging between £500,000 to £10m, which dropped from 79 to 66.

The top five countries for UK businesses to make investments in were the US (143 deals), Germany (69 deals), Netherlands (31 deals), Canada (23 deals) and France (23 deals).

Business development manager at Experian UK, Wendy Driver, commented on the research:

“The improving economy and rising M&A activity are good news, but businesses considering a purchase or sale should still thoroughly research the companies they are dealing with.

“Looking into the background of the management team at a target company, any corporate risk, and getting a snapshot of the international markets they operate in can help you to make an informed decision on a potential acquisition.”

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