As we look to April and the beginning of spring, we reflect on the M&A activity seen in the UK throughout March.
The deal with one of the highest overall values in March was the acquisition of GKN Plc by Melrose Industries, who acquired the aerospace parts manufacturer for £8bn. Whilst the takeover was highly controversial and publicised, Greg Clark, the business secretary, said Melrose would be held to the binding commitments on investment and disposals the government had sought.
Other deals of high value included the acquisition of NEX Group, by CME London, a voice and electronic securities brokerage services company, and the sale of Prudential Plc’s annuity business to Rothesay Life.
Tesco were also involved in M&A activity, with a £3.7bn takeover of Booker, the food wholesaler. The deal was approved by the competition authorities, in a deal which sees Booker’s Charlie Wilson, a highly respected industry figure, become head of Tesco’s UK operation, enabling Tesco to integrate this wholesale expertise into the supermarket business.
Another high profile deal saw Impello, a gas and electric utility service company, acquired by The Shell Petroleum Company, which marks Shell’s strategic entry into providing direct sales of electricity and gas to UK households. Overall, this deal has a value of £500m.
The well known and increasingly popular Moneysupermarket.com Group have acquired Decision Technologies, an online home communications and mobile phone comparison site, as they continue to dominate the online comparison site market.
There were also a high number of deals within the hotel and leisure industry, including the sale of Aspirations Ltd to PPHE Hotel Group, who operate more than 9,000 rooms across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
But alongside this, more niche sectors were also active in March, with crop enhancement agrochemicals manufacturer, Plant Impact, acquired by Croda Europe for £10m. Steve Foots, group chief executive of Croda, said: “This is high quality, novel technology that further expands our position in the crop care sector, and supports our strategy of investing in high growth markets and world leading technologies. Plant Impact has assembled a great team, and we’re really excited by the prospect of working with them to accelerate development of this business.”
Overall, M&A activity in March was very diverse, with activity seen across a wide variety of sectors, with varying deal sizes and values. This pays testament to the resilience of the UK’s M&A market, which continues to thrive.
If you are considering your first steps of entry into this market, you can use our free, online valuation calculator to determine the value of your company. Alternatively, you can contact our team of experts, who will be happy to advise you further.