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Key M&A trends and insights within latest report

23 February 2018

BDO has published A Review of the Year in Facilities Management, outlining the current and emerging themes within the FM merger and acquisitions (M&A) market.

In his foreword, managing director and head of facilities management sector Satvir Bungar states that “M&A remains a growth strategy in the UK” for many of the company’s international clients.

This will provide a measure of reassurance to those concerned about the effects that Brexit and the collapse of Carillion are having on the FM sector.

Mr Bungar also mentions his experience as a first-time PFM Awards judge in 2017, describing it as “an excellent platform to meet inspirational FM companies”.

The report describes how the FM market has seen an increase in M&A activity as it stabilised following the 2008 financial crisis.

This is now seen as a way to achieve business aims, with “renewed evidence of strategic multiples being paid for market leading FM assets”.

Further scope is being created by technology, including the Internet of Things (IoT), stable tender and contract renewal statistics and strong KPI contract measurement regimes.

The report also list the negative influences, such as “the need to re-engineer” gross contract margins, high customer concentration and poor due diligence of new contract wins.

With 2017 completed deal numbers “slightly lower” than those in 2016, there has been buoyant recent activity in mid-market transactions that shows “auctions remain robust”.

Mechanical and electrical (M&E), building management systems and compliance accounted for approximately 50% of transactions, with deals in the cleaning sector rising by 46% last year after nearly doubling in volume in 2016.

Increased private equity (PE) investment is another factor in the FM sector, said BDO, although this remains cautious.

Foreign investment accounted for 26% of UK targets’ acquisition last year, encouraged in part by a stable economy and weak pound and attracting both PE and trade investors.

BDO said that all the deals it is “currently involved with have an international angle”. The report is available for download here.

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