April proved a strong month for UK M&A with 197 deals taking place, according to Zephyr.
The month began with the acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc by MMC Treasury Holdings (UK) Ltd. This was also the deal with the highest value of the month, at £4.9 billion, and cements MMC Treasury Holdings as the leading professional services firm in the risk, strategy and people segments. Dan Glaser, President and Chief Executive Officer of MMC Treasury Holdings commented on the deal “Today marks the beginning of a new era with Marsh & McLennan and JLT coming together. This is a combination of strength and strength, and the primary focus is growth – in talent, capabilities, revenue and earnings.”
Another key deal came from Saputo Diary UK Ltd acquisition of Dairy Crest Group plc for £975 million. This sees the Cathedral City Cheddar and Utterly Butterly manufacturers join the Canadian dairy processor and will lead to a name change and an increased pursuit of overseas sales.
April also saw Huws Gray Ltd’s first acquisition of 2019, with their procurement of KF Supplies. It is thought that the deal was motivated by Huws Gray plan to strength their presence in the UK. Huws Gray Managing Director, Terry Owen remarked “It’s been a busy period for all of us following the acquisition of Ridgeons. We’re delighted to be on the acquisition trail again with the addition of K.F. Supplies to our branch network. It was a pleasure to work with the Freeman family during the acquisition process and we wish them the very best in the future.”
There was an increase in oversea Trade deals with a notable example being The Good Care Group being acquired by, the French, Sodexo SA. The acquisition also increases Sodexo SA share of the growing live-in home care market. Chief Executive of Sodexo SA, Sarosh Mistry, commented on the deal “Both Sodexo and The Good Care Group share a common mission to help our consumers age in their homes as independently and comfortably as possible. This cultural alignment is key to Sodexo and its core values make The Good Care Group such a natural fit into Sodexo’s Worldwide Home Care business. The Good Care Group has built a very successful business in the UK, based on delivering high quality live-in care. Together, we see tremendous opportunity to offer a choice of home care solutions to consumers with complex care needs.”
Finally, April also saw Celine UK Newco Ltd acquisition of Debenhams plc for an undisclosed amount. It is thought this may bolster Debenhams after a recent difficult sales period. Stefaan Vansteenkiste, Celine Chief Revenue Officer stated, “The investor consortium is a committed long-term owner, which has provided Debenhams with £200 million in fresh funding for the financial restructuring process and to fund the company’s operating turnaround.”
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