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Gloucestershire Business News

BPE and Harrison Clark Rickerbys flying high in rankings

Mergers and acquisitions in the UK fell by more than a third across the first half of the year, according to a leading market survey.

But county law firms BPE Solicitors and Harrison Clark Rickerbys both featured prominently in the Experian Market IQ rankings.

The survey recorded 2,539 deals of at least £500,000 in the first six months of the year - down 36 per cent on the same period last year and the lowest figure since 2011.

And the impact of the coronavirus was clear with just 890 transactions from April to June, compared with 1,620 in the first three months of the year.

Despite the drop in volume, the value of the deals rose from £87billion last year to £107billion, thanks in part to the £31billion merger between Virgin Media owner Liberty Media and Spanish firm Telefonica, owners of O2.

In the South West, 179 deals was a drop of 40 per cent on a year ago with the total value of £5.46billion down 22.6 per cent - the last three months dropping off 50 per cent in volume and 80 per cent in value.

For the first time in seven years, the number of deals fell below 100 in the second quarter with 59 transactions worth £860million.

The region accounted for 7.1 per cent of UK deals and 5.1 per cent of the total volumes.

Cheltenham-based BPE's corporate team retained its fourth spot in the regional rankings for deals by volume, having completed five deals in the first half of the year.

Corporate team leader and partner Louise Grzasko said: "We are pleased to have retained our position in Experian's rankings and I'm proud of the work the team has done so far this year, especially in such unprecedented circumstances."

The regional list was topped by Harrison Clark Rickerbys, who have an office in Cheltenham, with 11 deals taking them from third in the previous rankings.

The firm also rose from ninth to second in the national listings and topped the Midlands and South East tables, as well as third in the East of England.

Managing partner and head of the firm's corporate team Rod Thomas said: "This has been a tough period for many of our clients and our focus has been on helping them to keep business moving so that they emerge in the best position possible.

"We have needed to be flexible and agile in our approach and the team's readiness to do whatever it takes for the client is evident in these figures."

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