Mergers & Acquisitions in February 2018

As we continue into 2018, the UK M&A market continues to be active, interesting and varied, with a total of 135 deals completed in February alone.


The deal with the highest value in February, was the acquisition of Vebnet Ltd by Phoenix Group Holdings PLC, for £2.9 billion.


Another one of the highest value deals of the month was the acquisition of Fidessa Group by Temenos Holdings UK, in a deal worth £1.4billion.


Andreas Andreades, the Executive Chairman of Temenos, said that under the new agreement, the two firms “will create a global leader across financial services software.” He added, “We truly believe that this powerful combination will accelerate both companies complementary growth strategies in banking and capital markets and will enable us to cross-sell into our existing client bases and capture a greater share of the IT and software spend of banks especially as they move to the cloud.”


There were also a number of high-profile acquisitions in February which involved household names. Just Eat acquired Hungryhouse, in a deal which had been in the pipeline for a long time. The deal sees Just Eat gain market share and remove any potential threat which Hungryhouse presented. Just Eat has now become the most recognised takeaway provider, working with fast food chains and restaurants, in an industry constantly evolving due to technological advancement.


Another deal within the food and drink industry saw Arla acquire Yeo Valley Dairies, a subsidiary of the Yeo Valley Group Limited. The transaction will give the farmer-owned dairy cooperative the rights to use the Yeo Valley brand in milk, butter, spreads and cheese under an intellectual property licence with Yeo Valley.


Tomas Pietrangeli, Managing Director of Arla Foods Limited said, “the potential for future investment in range through this licensing agreement with Yeo Valley provides a significant opportunity to offer a greater choice to consumers at attractive prices. Our ambition is to encourage customers to trade up from standard to organic milk, butter and cheese, driving overall growth for organic across dairy categories.”


Other deals in February included the acquisition of law firm Hill Dickinson by Keoghs, the sale of Independent Star to Trinity Mirror, and the sale of Portsmouth Water to infrastructure investment manager Ancala Partners.


Overall, February has seen M&A activity across most major sectors, indicating the strength of the current market.  The wide spread variety and overall levels of high value deals, indicates that now is a good time to consider the sale of a business.


To begin the process of a company sale, you can use our free, online valuation calculator to determine the value of your company in today’s favourable market.