Leading law firm Addleshaw Goddard has recorded growth in Manchester deal activity in the two years since the Covid-19 pandemic swept the UK, increasing the number of transactions by 26% and 12% respectively in 2020 and 2021.

The increase of deals on that of 2019 figures – where the team closed a total of 34 deals – represents largely M&A activity in the retail & consumer (16%), digital (13%) and technology (11%) sectors. 

While transactions in the retail & consumer sector have remained steady since 2019, there's been a growing shift towards digital and tech innovations in recent years. Combined, the two sectors represented just 7% of all deal activity in 2018 - rising to 24% in the last twelve months.

While M&A activity made up a significant proportion of all Manchester deal activity spanning the last five years, the data reveals an increasing demand for businesses seeking legal expertise to list their company on a stock exchange. The decision of many business owners to float their company – securing additional capital from public investors – reiterates the growth potential of many Manchester-born businesses. 

Despite deal activity remaining buoyant during the pandemic, the number of deals in the healthcare sector has declined – dropping from 28% in 2018 to just 5% in 2021 – a trend indicative of a sector that has been at the forefront in leading a response to Covid-19. 

M&A Partner at Addleshaw Goddard, Roger Hart, commented: "Manchester businesses have shown their mettle in what has been a testing time for many firms, and the uptick in deal activity reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of this vibrant, thriving city. The key trend to emerge from this data is the increase in activity around digital and tech innovations – a trend which we're expecting to continue. While the UK establishes its position outside of the EU, Manchester remains a vital cog in the UK's commercial network, and we're delighted to support clients in multiple ventures."