Our view of the market is that it is currently extremely busy, but we are conscious from various conversations we have had that we have been fortunate in terms of the deal flow and we don’t, of course, know whether that will change as we go into 2021, writes Rachel Turner of HCRlaw.
Our team here at Aquis House has been working at full capacity since the end of May and we have successfully completed a number of significant transactions, including the sale of Quantuma to K3 Capital Group plc, the sale of Porterhouse Medical Group to IMC Group and the sale of Plasmech Packaging to Hanmere Polythene. The sectors which are particularly busy at the moment are healthcare, professional services and software development.
While we have seen enquiries from business owners who are looking to exit in order to de-risk, we haven’t seen any activity yet that has been driven by distress and obviously we hope that continues to be the case.
While none of us can be complacent in light of the pandemic, we are seeing a very healthy pipeline of work through to mid-December and are excited about our prospects for 2021. Our colleagues across the region have worked extremely hard to increase our deal volumes and we are really pleased to see how this reflected in the latest deal rankings published by Experian where, for the first half of 2020, HCR is ranked second overall within the UK and first overall within the South East for the volume of deals transacted. Our impression from talking to our network of PE and corporate advisory contacts is that the level of enquiries that they are seeing is picking up and so we hope that this will contribute towards healthy deal levels going forward into the next calendar year.
Our ambition is to grow the office as quickly as we can – both on the commercial and private client side. Since we moved to Aquis House in March, we have been joined by new lawyers in our commercial, regulatory and international teams and we are in active discussion with a number of senior lawyers which we hope will lead to additional recruitment in the near future.
The atmosphere and culture in our office here in the Thames Valley is fantastic; we pull together and support each other and it’s important to us that we maintain this. The key for us is in finding individuals who are great at what they do and who share our enthusiasm and absolute commitment to doing the best we can for our clients, whether they are selling a house or buying a company.
I think Reading’s future looks very bright. The investment which is evident in the number of substantial new developments that are taking place in the town centre signals that growth is anticipated. The Thames Valley is recognised as a centre of excellence for technology companies, a substantial contributor to GDP, it has excellent connections to the rest of the country by road and rail and it sits on the doorstep of Heathrow. There is a vast, highly-skilled workforce here and a large number of globally significant employers that create demand and opportunity, not only at their own level but also for secondary suppliers. It’s honestly difficult to imagine a better place to do business in my view.
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