There were a particularly large number of deals within the UK high-street, making retail one of the more prominent sectors for M&A activity in December. One of the biggest profile deals, was the acquisition of Sofology by DFS, who bought their smaller rivals for £105 million, in an attempt to broaden their appeal in an ever-challenging market.
Other high street names involved in the December activity include Lloyds Pharmacy, who purchased all 281 of Sainsbury’s pharmacies for £125 million. Whilst GVC Holdings acquired Ladbrokes Coral, in a £3.1billion takeover, which will now see GVC hold the biggest share in the UK betting market.
However, the most valuable deal during the month of December was the acquisition of Logicor Europe Ltd by China Investment Corporation, reported on by the FT as the second-largest European real estate transaction on record, with a total deal value of £10.8 billion. Logicor is the largest owner of European logistics and distribution properties, with clients such as Amazon the business is highly successful. Chief Executive of Logicor, Mo Barzegar said that management are ‘excited about the company’s future prospects’, and ended with a commitment to continue to ‘deliver and exceed our customers’ expectations’.
Another high value deal sees Global Logistic Properties acquire Gazeley, a European logistics platform. This deal sees another Asian warehouse operator push into the European market, as e-commerce success further increases the demand for reliable logistics facilities.
These two high profile deals indicate the high demand for warehouse space and logistics properties, as international deals look to permeate the booming European distribution market, following the increase in e-commerce sales.
Another interesting deal from the month of December included the acquisition of Shazam by Apple, with an Apple spokesperson saying “Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.”
The deal may help to further raise Apple’s presence within the music industry or could be part of a more long-term strategy.
With many household names involved in M&A activity this month, 2017 has certainly been a very active year in the M&A market overall, with sectors such as retail and technology set to continue prolifically into 2018.
If you are interested in learning more about the worth of your business amidst this favourable M&A market, please do not hesitate to fill in our online calculator, which can help you understand the value of your company quickly and reliably.