UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has rendered his support and blessing to a multi-billion pound trend that has seen foreign private equity firms buy out British businesses. Speaking at the launch of Treasury Connect, an event intended to bring together fast-growing tech businesses with investors and politicians to spur innovation in areas such as fintech and life sciences .
Addressing a growing trend in which overseas buyers target UK firms, Sunak said, “We’ve always been an economy that benefits from investment in it. I would view it as a sign of confidence in the UK. It’s good news for our economy.” Foreign private equity investors spent nearly £25bn on British firms between the start of 2021 and mid-August as per figures revealed from Dealogic.
The figure was more than £42bn factoring in minority stakes, a record since Dealogic began tracking the data in 2005. Meanwhile, the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket Morrisons is moving closer to a £7bn takeover by US private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. This isn’t the first time, household names like Asda, AA, John Laing, and LV have long been snapped up by private equity since the beginning of the pandemic.