February 2019 saw continued growth in M&A, with a total of 132 transactions involving UK companies, according to Zephyr.
The month began with the Unilever plc acquisition of Nd1t Ltd this was the continuation of the trend of multinational companies acquiring smaller personality-based brands. This deal also shows the maintained persistence of the rise of the health food market. Nd1t Ltd is the first of its type to be added to Unilever’s already vast offerings within the food and drink sector.
The highest deal value of the month took place between Perstop UK Ltd, the world leader in several sectors of the specialty chemicals market, and Ingevity Corporation, which also operates in the speciality chemicals sector. The acquisition was finalised on the 13th February and carried a deal value of £508.6 million. Ingevity president and CEO stated that, “We are very pleased to be adding such a unique business to our company; one that will provide new avenues for strategic growth. Moreover, we’re excited to welcome our new employees in Warrington and across the globe.”
February also saw a continued interest from America in British mergers and acquisitions. This was markedly seen with technology giant Apple Inc acquiring the smaller Operatedata Ltd. This is worth noting due to Operatedata Ltd’s focus on business and software development which could see a progression in Apple Inc’s business offerings.
There were several acquisitions within the car sales sector. These ranged from smaller acquisitions including Centurian Automotive Ltd acquiring The Barkby Group plc for £0.45 million. Household name Motors.co.uk Ltd was acquired by Gumtree.com Ltd. It is well known that the car market has been turbulent. However, The Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders said a there was a 1.4% increase in new car sales compared to last February. This is particularly unusual as February is usually the slowest month for new car sales. Furthermore, the rise of popularity in auction led sales count account for the increased acquisitions of traditional used car sellers due to the maintained high market value. The continued buoyancy of the value of the used car market, makes it a particularly increasing investment.
The end of the month saw the completion of the deal between FlyBe Ltd and Connect Airways Ltd. Connect Airways, which is part of a consortium including Stobart Group Ltd (30%), Virgin Atlantic Limited (30%) and Cyrus Capital (40%), completed a £2.8 million deal with FlyBe Ltd at the end of the month.
With high levels of activity across various sectors, and such an active start to the year, now is the perfect opportunity to begin considering progressing with a business sale.
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