A familiar household name involved in acquisitions this month was Waterstones Booksellers Ltd, who have been acquired by hedge fund Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd, in a deal worth £300m.
As Britain’s largest book chain, Waterstones has 283 stores and over the years has survived the decline of high street book stores, as Borders, Dillons and Ottakers all fell victim to the threat presented by Amazon.
James Daunt, Chief Executive of Waterstones, has seen an 80% increase in annual profits since his time at the company began in 2011, and indicates the company will continue to thrive and grow, “By the end of the year we’ll have more shops not less, and next year an awful lot more shops … For the last year we’ve been pretty distracted with this whole process but have managed to keep going at a reasonable clip – hopefully we will now get on with it with a bit more focus. There’s plenty of room to grow – there are plenty of very nice towns and high street and even shopping centres which don’t have bookshops and should, and we will be very happy to put them there.”
The backing of Elliot Advisors should give them the financial scope to see out these plans, and build a long term future on the UK high street.
Overall, most sectors were in some way involved in the mergers and acquisitions of April 2018, with deals being varied and wide-spread.
Stadium group plc, the electronic component manufacturer, was acquired by TT Electronics plc for £46m and Toast (Mail Order) Ltd was acquired by Bestseller United, a Denmark based trade buyer, highlighting the desirability of UK companies across Europe.
A number of high value deals also took place in the energy, financial services, retail and health industries.
The variety and scope of the M&A activity so far in 2018 shows the strength of the UK market. If you are interested in learning more about what your business could be worth, or even who would be interested in acquiring it, do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 441 2003.