Mergers & Acquisitions in July 2018

The first half of 2018 has shown that UK companies are consistently attractive to a wide range of buyers across the globe, demonstrated by the increase in M&A activity across most major sectors.


The month of July saw a total of 203 UK M&A transactions, according to Zephyr.


One of the highest value deals of the month saw Atlas Hotels Ltd acquired by London & Regional Group Holdings Ltd, for £575m. The deal includes 46 Holiday Inn Express hotels, and one Hampton by Hilton in Liverpool, ultimately resulting in London & Regional’s portfolio increase to 6,600 rooms across Europe and the Caribbean.


Aunt Bessie’s Ltd was acquired by Nomad Foods Ltd, for £212m. The deal sees the UK’s top Yorkshire pudding manufacturer combined with Nomad’s other brands, which include Findus, Birds Eye and Goodfellas. Nomad only recently acquired Goodfellas, for £200m, indicating their active acquisition strategy and investment within the frozen food industry.


Within the events industry, Ascential Events Ltd was acquired by ITE Group plc, for £300m. Chief Executive Officer of ITE Mark Shashoua (pictured) commented: “I am delighted to announce the completion of the acquisition of the Ascential Exhibitions business.


“These events, all of which are market-leading, are well known to us, and under ITE’s ownership we look forward to treating them as core, giving them the investment, management focus and international platform they need to grow.


“This highly complementary portfolio of exhibitions will help to propel us towards our vision of creating the worlds leading portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events that deliver an outstanding experience and return on investment for our customers.”


Other notable deals include the acquisition of Bank of Cyprus UK Ltd by Cynergy Capital Ltd and the purchase of Russells Ltd by WBHO UK Ltd.


A significant number of deals took place within the energy sector, which has again demonstrated high levels of buyer appetite and demand. For example, NextEnergy Solar Fund Ltd have acquired 10 South West UK-based solar plants for £42m, as the solar energy sector continues to see significant investment.


Overall, July has seen a large amount of spending and wide spread interest in UK companies. Most sectors have seen an increase in deal activity as the UK M&A market remains active.


These activity levels are increasing as we move further into 2018, and may mean that now is an opportune time to consider your own exit strategy options.


If you would like to discuss the M&A market further, or find out what it could mean for your business, please do not hesitate to contact our team on 0203 441 2003. Alternatively, you can complete our free, online valuation calculator, to obtain a quick valuation of your company.