Over seven months on from Brexit, debt markets continue to fly, private equity funds are accumulating further dry powder, consumer confidence remains resilient and the UK economy is consistently outperforming expectations. 

That there is a lack of high quality businesses coming to market presents an opportunity for well-prepared sellers. Far from investment committees' standards slipping, there are a number of recent examples where pen has barely been put to paper on information memoranda before a well-educated buyer has emerged victorious. Piper's recent £137m sale of Loungers to Lion Capital in December was always rumoured to be a Q1 2017 process. It was expedited by a well prepared business, motivated management team and a first class target business. In this type of situation, double digit multiples of fully loaded run-rate EBITDAs are eminently achievable. And this type of process is often preferred by vendors and acquirers who are keen to reduce any risks associated with a process, avoid disclosing confidential information to a wide population and minimise distractions to the day-to-day running of a business.