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Deal drivers in 2021: what’s the outlook?

This year will no doubt prove challenging for businesses, but it won’t be without opportunities. Advisers and investors share their thoughts on tech-enabled sectors, capital gains tax, private equity, international acquirers, and accelerated M&A.

“Given the uncertain operating environment businesses continue to face this year, due diligence providers have been finding it more difficult to give assurances around ongoing financial performance in many sectors. Comparing business trends with previous years and making sense of the comparison is proving very tough. As a result, it’s taking longer for them to provide assurance. The usual seasonality profiles that are used as a predictor of future financial performance have not held true through 2020, and so the outlook for this year is unpredictable.

“We’re seeing a disproportionate amount of revenue from some online businesses because that’s the main way that goods and services can be procured. When the world returns to something closer to normality, some of those businesses are unlikely to sustain the financial performance that they saw through 2020. It is difficult for investors and their advisers to forecast financial performance.