Acquisitions of UK technology companies by US businesses have increased by 386% in the last decade, according to new research from Buzzacott.
Of the 247 UK companies to have exited into the US in 2017, almost a third (32.3%) of those were technology companies, followed by manufacturing, which has also seen an increase in interest from the US over the same period.
While technology has been one of the principle drivers of the UK M&A market in the mid-market, the results highlight that there has also been a wider trend of increasing activity from US acquirers.
Overall, the UK has seen the acquisition of companies below £1 billion increase by 86% between 2009 and 2017, with sectors such as Business Services and Manufacturing having increased in the number of sales to US acquirers.
Commenting on the findings, Andy Hodgetts, Senior Corporate Finance Manager at Buzzacott said: “The UK’s technology landscape is changing dramatically and is far more active than it was just under a decade ago. Silicon Valley is no longer the sole proprietor for developing new innovations, the UK is a hotbed for talent, and in the US’ acquisitions of UK companies, they are gaining access to that talent pool.”
Hodgetts continued: “There has been a lot of uncertainty around Brexit and what it means for the UK, which has left many businesses unsure as to when might be a good time for them to sell. What we are seeing however is that there are a number of opportunities and buyers out there, especially in the US.
“For UK companies that are planning on exiting, but have waited due to the uncertainty the UK faces, it is important to not just think about companies within the UK that might want to acquire the business, but explore internationally too as there are plenty of buyers available, whatever the sector.”