After a particularly exciting first quarter, UK M&A activity has certainly continued at a fast pace, with almost 100 deals completed during the month of May 2017 alone, generating combined, disclosed deal values of over £1.36bn.
During this month, the highly anticipated acquisition of Generator Hostels Limited by Queensgate Investments completed for a final sale value of £392m. Generator Hostels is Europe’s fastest growing hostel brand, operating almost 9,000 beds in London, Paris, Copenhagen and elsewhere. As a private equity real estate fund manager, with many other properties and hotels found in its portfolio, Queensgate was perfectly placed to acquire the Generator brand.
One of May’s most notable deals involved Project Shortway Limited’s £234m acquisition of Sepura plc. Project Shortway is a subsidiary of Hytera, the Chinese headquartered manufacturer of radio transceivers and radio systems, and Sepura is a UK leader in the design, manufacture and supply of digital mobile radio products and systems. Hytera commented on the deal, stating that the rationale behind the move is Hytera’s belief that it will give the company “better access to geographic markets in which it currently has limited exposure”, and will increase its presence in the high end public security market.
Tata Steel UK completed the sale of its Speciality Steels business for a total consideration of £100m during the month of May. The sale covered several South Yorkshire-based assets including an electric arcs steel works and bar mill at Rotherham, a steel purifying facility in Stocksbridge and a mill in Brinsworth. Impressively, the deal safeguarded 1,700 jobs across the whole Tata steel business and created 300 more in the north of England. As a globally operating industrial and metals group, Liberty House was certainly an ideal fit for Speciality Steels, and Sanjeev Gupta, founder of Liberty House said that the deal represented “a big vote of confidence in the future of British industry”.