Livingstone Industrial 2018 Review & Outlook

It is six months since our last review of UK Industrials M&A. In that time, we have been pleased to see UK manufacturers largely ignore an at times frustratingly and unjustly negative political and press commentary, by delivering modest but sustained growth and consistently adding jobs.

Order books are strong and the critical PMI for UK manufacturing scored 53 or above in every reported month except one in 2018. To put this into context, we dipped below 50 in both 2013 and 2014 and as recently as 2016! Press commentary has implied that the strong score of 54.2 in December was principally driven by customers stocking up ahead of Brexit, but the score isn’t actually that out of line with the H2 average.

It is clear trade acquirers and investors remain positive on UK manufacturing as deal volumes in H2 2018 were ahead of the same period last year (234 deals vs. 220) and multiples achieved were also marginally higher.

Indeed, Livingstone’s Industrials team in the UK continued the strong run we had in the first half with a number of closures in H2 including the sale of Cursor Controls to discoverIE Group plc and the sale of Chess Technologies to another listed buyer, Cohort plc. It was particularly pleasing to see two UK plc’s investing in these high IP and heavily international technical manufacturers. Shortly after we closed the Chess deal they garnered some good press coverage as they kindly lent one of their world-leading anti-drone systems to Gatwick Airport to allow the airport to stop its drone-related problems and get people heading off for Christmas on their planes! Gatwick has now installed Chess’ technology in the wake of the drone incursion in December.

We enter 2019 with a strong and exciting pipeline and if we didn’t work with you in 2018 we hope to have the opportunity this year.

Latest Industrial Transactions

Industrial Insights

Aerospace & Defence Newsletter, November 2018

Within the Aerospace and Defence sectors activity has been strong, with our work reflecting many of the key trends in the wider space over the last 12 months; and which we discuss in more detail in this newsletter.

Nice guys do finish first: Why the companies which protect our networks and data are valued so highly

The cyber security market is a “hot” sector and variably forecast to grow to over the next five years. Livingstone's Joe Austin discusses why the companies which protect our networks and data are valued so highly.

Growing pains: International expansion in Test, Measurement & Control

Livingstone has always has a strong affinity to the Test, Measurement & Control (TMC) sector and every year we complete multiple transactions for clients across a range of applications and technologies for use in the field and in the laboratory.

In The Press

Continued consolidation predicted in 2019 global packaging market

In a piece for Packaging News, Barry Sheehan, Director at Livingstone gave his predictions for the global packaging market in 2019. Read Barry’s predictions and the full piece here.

Heart of the Deal: Founders admit it’s hard when time to sell up comes round

The Times has featured our Heart of the Deal report, which surveys over 200 UK entrepreneurs across the consumer, business services, industrial and media & technology industries to discover the emotions and motivations behind founders and their businesses.

Computer Weekly: Mind your drone business

In an article for Computer Weekly, Joe Austin, Analyst at Livingstone explores the rapidly developing world of drone technology which has burst onto the commercial and consumer industry scene.

Contact Us

Graham Carberry

D: +44 (0)20 7484 4728

Patrick Groarke

D: +44 (0)20 7484 4707