Chris Evans

2nd May 2024


Which Industries Are Likely To See The Most Acquisitions In 2024?

According to recent research by, the volume of merger & acquisition deals involving companies worth over £100m+ fell dramatically in 2023. The number of completed deals sank to its lowest rate since the start of the pandemic and ended up a full 17% lower than 2022.  

However, with inflation falling back to trend and interest rates forecast to follow suit, optimism is growing for a rebound in deal making in 2024. Stabilising economic conditions, and pent-up demand from the private equity sector, mean that we should see a spike in mergers and acquisition in the second half of 2024.   

With that in mind, leading analyst Plimsoll have completed their latest analysis on key UK markets and the companies within them. Using the Plimsoll Model, we have been able to isolate the best prospects in over 1800 industries so our clients can build their M&A shopping list quickly and with every option laid out for them. 
The Plimsoll Model distils complex financial data and produces a concise, single page snapshot on any company in any market, based on four decades of experience, we can then produce an acquisition attractiveness rating on that company. Such a rating considers the difference between current and potential value, ownership structure, ease of completing the deal, level of financial distress and more. The fuel gauge style rating provided on that company allows the user to effortlessly skim through the industries that matter to you and pick out the best options for the criteria you set. 

How can we help you? Plimsoll have over 1800 industry specific M&A analyses available today. Whatever market you are involved in or looking to move into, Plimsoll can instantly reveal the best options. Based on our comprehensive analysis of every section of the UK economy, these are the industries we predict will be most acquisitive in 2024: 

The Bakery Industry: 

Half of the UK’s leading Bakeries have been rated “highly attractive for takeover” by the Plimsoll Model. 48% of the companies in the latest Plimsoll Analysis are ripe for takeover among them some of the giants of the British market. With the bakery industry being as steadfast as ever, many in the market represent an excellent opportunity for others with surplus liquidity to invest in a new acquisition. 
The Flooring Supplies Industry: 

Of the 137 companies included in the Plimsoll Analysis, 37 of these ranked as “highly attractive” which equates to 27%. The flooring sector has seen its fortunes fluctuate recently with the trends in consumer spending and a slowing housing market. However. profit margins and market growth both remain relatively healthy and are recovering. Acquiring now before demand recovers strongly could be a smart move for a shrewd investor.   
The Apprenticeship Training industry: 

93 companies out of the UK’s 359 leading Apprenticeship Training companies were ranked as “highly attractive” in the latest Plimsoll Analysis. This reflects a growing need for a period of consolidation in the market after the recent expansion of Government schemes that have looked to shift people into training. With too many companies chasing a saturated market, watch out for deals in 2024 and beyond. 

The Timber Windows & Doors industry: 

67 of the UK’s top 265 Timber Door & Window manufacturers have been ranked as “highly attractive”. The market has come under pressure from soaring timber and other input costs recently and the dearth of skilled tradesmen. However, demand remains high for period features and traditional architecture that only timber windows and doors can offer. There looks to be a period of increased deals coming over the next 12 months. 

The Plant Based Food industry: 

68 of the top 271 companies in the Plant Based Food industry have been rated as “highly attractive”, equating to a quarter of the industry. As the vegan movement becomes more mainstream and matures, the order of companies in the market is likely to change as protagonists jockey for position. Larger players are likely to consolidate their position with a series of deals for smaller purveyors. 

The head of deals at PwC UK (via recently reported that “more than half of UK CEOs expect to make at least one major acquisition in the next 3 years” and “the UK is a top investment target for US CEOs, whilst becoming an increasingly popular place to invest for Chinese businesses”. With the post Brexit devaluation of the Stirling seemingly semi-permanent, more foreign investors are seeing an opportunity to buy high value British companies, IP and institutions. 

If you are looking to acquire a company, from a £1m business to a conglomerate, Plimsoll’s Acquisition Finder is a unique service, tailored to your exact requirement, whereby we can build you a shopping list of attractive companies in your chosen industry, value and rate their potential – in one concise report, for a flat fee. 

We have helped over 40,000 clients of all sizes over the last 37 years build their business portfolios…join Plimsoll’s analytical revolution and get ahead today! Call 01642 626400 to get started.