Business Leaders' Forum

No worst-case scenario for mergers and acquisitions

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the UK food and drink industry will continue, regardless of the outcome of Brexit, with the potential of the economy accelerating should a deal be agreed before 29 March, according to Shore Capital head of research Clive Black.

In the second part of this exclusive video interview – filmed at this year’s Food Manufacture​ Business Leaders’ Forum, sponsored by law firm DW​F – Black explored the benefits of the UK leaving the EU with or without a deal next month.

‘Economy absolutely flying’

“I don’t know what a worst-case scenario is,”​ said Black. “In terms of how our relationships with the wider world pan out, if there is a deal organised with the EU relatively quickly, that is quite orderly, I could see the UK economy absolutely flying. We shouldn’t forget that the UK economy is trundling along, when the European economy is going backwards at pace.

“Equally, if there is no deal, although there’s a lot of fog around that, the world will go on. People will adapt to it, businesses will adapt to it and, therefore, there will be M&A activity after ​[Brexit].”

Black pointed out that, should the pound further decrease in value compared with the US dollar and Japanese yen, international investors would become more and more interested in M&A activity in the UK.

Twists and turns

“Each twist and turn of the Brexit situation is hard to call,”​ he added. “It’s a hugely frustrating situation that business and consumers are looking into with increasing simmering anger, but regardless of what happens after 29 March, there will be M&A activity.”

Meanwhile, watch the first part of this exclusive interview here​​​and look out for more coverage from this year’s Business Leaders’ Forum in next month’s issue of Food Manufacture​​​​ magazine and online.

Music: Tech Live Kevin MacLeod (, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License,

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