26 February, 2024

The dynamic landscape of UK deal-making is brimming with noteworthy trends, opportunities, and predictions. Deal-making turns the business world round, and there's no denying that identifying the prevailing trends can help you stay one step ahead. Plunge into this read and arm yourself with insights lining the horizon of the UK's deal-making scene.

Let's delve into what the future may hold.

Tomorrow's Market: Predictions for Deal-Making in the UK

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Capitalizing on the pulse of tomorrow's market entails thorough knowledge and understanding of the trends shaping up in your business environment. So, what could the UK deal-making landscape look like in 2024?

Here's what we think:

Post-Brexit, we expect to see a surge in M&A activity. Companies, both in the UK and abroad, will seize opportunities provided by stabilizing markets and favourable trade regulations.

As an investor, be ready to ride the wave — there could be rewarding acquisitions and mergers on the horizon.

Another anticipated trend points towards a rapid rise in technology-based deals. Technology has become the backbone of virtually every industry, rendering deals focusing on AI, IoT and cybersecurity particularly attractive.

Whether you're an entrepreneur or an investor, awareness of tech trends will be crucial.

Further, the growing focus on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) factors is likely to have significant implications for deal-making. Investors are expected to scrutinise potential deals to ensure they align with ESG principles.

As a business owner, strategically incorporating these aspects could make your venture a more viable investment option.

Lastly, Private Equity (PE) is predicted to continue its dominance in the UK deal scene. With a large amount of capital looking for worthy investments, businesses with robust potential should be on the radar of PE firms.

So, if you're a business leader, start perfecting your pitch!

Distressed M&A in the UK: A Dark Horse in the Deal-Making Race

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It's no secret that distressed M&A deals have been on the rise in recent years, but as we look toward 2024, you might want to keep your eye on this particular trend in the UK.

Common in periods of economic turbulence, these types of deals involve acquiring companies or assets at risk or under bankruptcy, hence referred to as 'distressed', at discounted prices.

According to MSCI, one of the foremost providers of critical decision support tools and services, there has been a significant increase in distressed deal-making opportunities.

Their research shows that in 2022 alone, distressed assets have gone up by a remarkable 20%.

So, why should this matter to deal-makers like you?

Simply put, distressed M&A presents novel opportunities for buyers to purchase assets at lower prices, compared to normal conditions. This might particularly appeal to savvy investors who hold a high-risk tolerance and seek undervalued assets.

In 2024, with the ongoing global economic uncertainty, more companies are unfortunately expected to find themselves in distress.

A decline in overall UK M&A activity, with deal volume falling 18% compared to 2022 and nearly a third lower than in 2021. This downturn was observed across almost all sectors, with health being the notable exception, where more deals were reported in 2023 compared to 2022.

This, in turn, could create a surge of opportunities for bargain hunters, those who are ready to take on the risk that comes with acquiring distressed assets in order to capitalize on potential future earnings.

However, one must tread carefully, as distressed M&A comes with its share of challenges – from complex legal frameworks and tricky negotiations to potential brand and reputation damage. One wise approach is to employ experienced guidance in distressed acquisitions such as lawyers, consultants, and financial advisors who understand the landscape and can navigate the process to your advantage.

While some may see distressed M&A as a dark horse due to its inherent risks, understanding its potential rewards and implementing precautionary strategies might turn it into a game-changer for deal-making in the UK in 2024.

So, keep an eye out on this trend. Being prepared could turn these seemingly challenging circumstances into profitable opportunities.

The Tech Revolution: How Technology is Influencing UK Deal-Making

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Without a doubt, technology plays a pivotal role in the landscape of UK deal-making. By offering innovative solutions for communication, data analysis, and deal structuring, Technology is propelling the sector to new heights. But, how exactly is this happening? Let's delve into it.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are enhancing the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of due diligence. By automating this intensive process, deal-makers can mitigate risk and accelerate closure times vastly. AI is excellent at legwork, data mining, and analyzing patterns, freeing up deal-makers to concentrate on more strategic tasks.

Blockchain, on the other hand, is promising to transform the transparency, security, and efficiency of transactions. Its decentralized and immutable nature assures trust and accountability, significant aspects in any deal. With the prospects of smart contracts, deal flow can be automatic and seamless, significantly mitigating the risk of errors and fraud.

Lastly, Virtual Deal Rooms (VDRs) have made it possible for deal negotiations and signings to happen remotely, providing the added benefit of accessibility to global investors. Imagine all the critical transaction documents stored in one central, secure location that global parties can access at any time. The possibility of deal-making without borders is indeed a reality now.

So, what's the future of technology in UK deal-making? As the march towards digitalization continues to accelerate, expect to see even more AI-driven solutions, increased blockchain adoption in transactions, and more sophisticated VDRs.

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Green Deals: The Rising Trend of Sustainability in UK Deal-Making

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You've likely heard the buzz about 'green deals' sweeping across the global marketplace, but let's delve into what it actually means for the United Kingdom. The concept of green deals is part of a broader movement towards environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles being incorporated into all aspects of a business, including deal-making.

The UK is setting itself up as a global leader in sustainable deals. From renewable energy projects to ethical and sustainable finance, the nation's corporations and start-ups are integrating green initiatives into their business strategies and deal transactions.

For instance, take a look at the increasingly popular trend of green bonds, where funds are specifically earmarked for climate-friendly projects. UK-based corporations issue these bonds to raise money for green projects, offering investors a purposeful return on their investment.

Moreover, investment firms have started practicing sustainable investing, aiming to acquire stakes in firms promoting eco-friendly operations. More than just a sales pitch, these green deals offer a real opportunity for investors looking to stabilize their portfolios while also contributing to a greener future.

But what does this mean for deal-makers in the UK? For one, due diligence processes are evolving to assess a company's ESG-related risks. Deal-makers are also needing to familiarize themselves with new regulations and standards regarding sustainability.

Private Equity in the UK: A Major Player in Deal-Making

You're likely familiar with the role of private equity in deal-making, especially within the UK market. As a dominant force shaping the investment landscape, private equity continues to drive strategic acquisition and deal-making, particularly in sectors like technology and healthcare. In 2024, we can anticipate several trends emerging that will dictate how private equity players operate.

One of the leading trends is an increased focus on specialization. As competition heats up, private equity firms are differentiating themselves by sticking to what they know best. This industry expertise often becomes a unique selling point, helping firms to dig deeper and unlock hidden value. Many deals in 2024 will tend to be specialists within sectors, looking beyond the obvious to identify untapped opportunities.

Additionally, 2024 will also see private equity investing more in growth capital. Rather than mere acquisition, firms will invest more in companies' potential, aiding expansion and technological development. They'll take a hands-on approach to guide the growth journey of these companies, making this a win-win for businesses and investors alike.

Notably, the role of environment, social, and governance (ESG) considerations in deal-making shouldn't be overlooked. Recent years have seen an increasing push for sustainable and responsible investments. Private equity firms are no exception to this trend, with many prioritizing portfolios that align with ESG standards. The year 2024 will see this trend accelerate, becoming a defining factor in deal evaluation.


In conclusion, 2024 is setting the stage for a vibrant and dynamic shift in UK deal-making. The influence of private equity, the emergence of specialized sectors, the growing emphasis on sustainability, and the leveraging of technology are all prompting change and spurring new opportunities.

The key to capitalizing these trends lies in understanding their impacts, being adaptable, and recognizing the potential in every challenge. So, brace yourself to navigate, adapt, and thrive in this evolving deal-making landscape. Persistence and innovation will be your greatest assets in unlocking the possibilities of a promising future. Let's welcome the remarkable journey of 2024!

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