Mergers & Acquisitions in May 2016

As we step closer to the half way point of 2016, May saw a bumper month of UK deals, with 241 completions according to company deals database, Zephyr.


Valued at £1.85 billion, Verisk Analytics, Inc’s acquisition of research and consultancy group, Wood Mackenzie Ltd, was May’s highest valued deal.


Based in Edinburgh, Wood Mackenzie is a global leader in data analytics and commercial intelligence for the energy, chemicals, metals and mining verticals.


The strategic acquisition will provide Wood Mackenzie with a larger platform on which to continue to serve its customers with “excellence”, with New Jersey-based Verisk ready to pursue “a range of combined company opportunities starting immediately.”


May saw the completion of a dozen deals valued at over £100 million, including the £937m acquisition of Quindell PLC’s Professional Services Division by Slater & Gordon Ltd and Playtech PLC’s £335m acquisition of a majority stake Trade FX Ltd.


However, falling just short of this assembly was the £80m acquisition of LA Fitness Ltd by budget gym operator, Pure Gym Ltd. LA Fitness was put up for sale in 2015 following pressure from the challenges imposed by discount rivals such as Pure Gym. Interest in the 25-year old gym chain was rife, with Fitness First just one of a number of potential acquirers considering a rival bid.


The acquisition, however, will require the clearance of the Competition and Markets Authority, which last year blocked plans for a merger between Pure Gym and another discount gym operator, The Gym Group.