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East beats West in buyout battle of the Midlands; BUYOUTS.

Byline: By Steve Pain Deputy Business Editor

The East Midlands has surged ahead of the West Midlands in the value of buyout deals completed during the first half of the year - although both regions recorded the same number of transactions, new figures showed today.

Both regions recorded 33 deals in the period January to June. But the total value of deals in the West Midlands was pounds 981million, compared with pounds 11,720 million in the East Midlands. It meant the average deal value in the West Midlands was nearly pounds 30 million, whereas in the East Midlands the figure exceeded pounds 350 million.

The latest figures from the University of Nottingham-based Centre for Management Buy-Out Research (CMBOR) - which is which is co-founded by Barclays Private Equity and Deloitte - were driven in particular by the Alliance Boots public-private deal, which had a massive value of some pounds 11 billion.

In comparison, the largest deal in the West Midlands was that of the buyout of McKechnie Aerospace Holdings in May. That deal had a much smaller value, although it was still in excess of pounds 400 million.

However, Phil Griesbach, director of Barclays Private Equity in the Midlands, said that while the statistics suggested the start of 2007 had been quieter, there was still a considerable number of deals progressed and in the pipeline.

"The East Midlands has had a busy period - not just because of high profile deals such as Boots Alliance but at the smaller range of the market also - where there were some 24 deals of less than pounds 5 million each in the first half of 2007 compared to 37 in the whole of 2006," he said.

"The West Midlands has remained pretty consistent with its performance in 2006 - when there was a total of 67 deals.

"In fact, in most value ranges, we are running at around half of the total figures for 2006 - so certainly the region is well on track to have another good year," said Mr Griesbach.

Nick Johnson, corporate finance partner at Deloitte in Birmingham, also said the West Midlands is well on track for another good year.

"In most value ranges we are running at around half the total figures for 2006 - a good and consistent performance," he added.

"The exit market has also proved buoyant, with 17 exits recorded in the first half of 2007 compared with 38 in the whole of 2006 for the West Midlands.

"There is a similar story in the East Midlands - 20 deals in the first half compared with 29 for the whole of 2006."

The CMBOR figures also reveal that the most active sector for the buyout/buy-in market in both the East and West Midlands remains manufacturing.

The West Midlands recorded ten deals in the sector in the first six months of 2007 (27 in 2006 in total) and 13 deals in the East Midlands (11 in 2006).

"The West Midlands has remained pretty consistent with its performance in 2006

Phil Griesbach
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 28, 2007
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