Sector News

UK to pursue deals and acquisitions despite Brexit uncertainty

December 3, 2018
Life sciences

The UK pharmaceutical industry is pressing ahead with M&A activity and is “geared to weather any disruption due to Brexit”, suggest results of a recent survey by EY.

EY’s 19th Capital Confidence Barometer (CCB19), a biannual survey of more than 2,600 executives across 45 countries, has found that 67% of UK life sciences executives have a stable or positive outlook on the impact of Brexit on investment and acquisition activity.

However, globally the picture is less positive, with 51% of the surveyed executives believing that Brexit will negatively impact investments and acquisitions outside the UK and EU, as well as their ability to recruit and retain key talent.

According to the report, the global life sciences industry is on track to achieve $200 billion in deals in 2018, but the outlook appears to be more subdued as only 49% believe the sector economy is improving.

Matt Bartell, UK Life Sciences TAS leader for EY, comments: “It’s no surprise that UK execs are more confident on Brexit compared with their global counterparts.

“Clearly those in the life sciences industry have done their homework and are ahead of many others in ensuring they are prepared to weather the Brexit storm and are able to continue focusing efforts on driving growth through M&A.”

He continued: “We’re already seeing firms prepare by moving parts of their supply chain into the European Economic Area as well as stockpiling medicines to deal with any potential immediate disruption.”

This positive outlook contrasts with potential regulatory upheaval with the post-Brexit relocation of the European Medicines Agency. The move from London to Amsterdam, which will occur on January 1 and result in 30% of staff leaving, will force the agency to scale back its activities.

By Anna Smith

Source: Pharma Times

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