Mergers & Acquisitions in November 2018

As we come to the end of 2018, M&A activity remains high as many look to complete deals and acquisitions before the end of the year.


November 2018 saw a total of 162 deals complete, with most major sectors seeing high levels of activity.


One of the higher value deals that completed was the acquisition of Exterion Media (UK) Ltd, by Global Radio Group Ltd, for £450m. Exterion Media hold the London tube advertising contract, which made it a powerful acquisition for Global Radio, who will dramatically increase their investment in the out-of-home display advertising sector.


Stephen Miron, group chief executive of Global, said: “Global’s binding offer to acquire Exterion Media complements our recent purchase of Primesight and Outdoor Plus.


“The incredibly positive reaction we have had to the news of our entrance into the OOH sector only reaffirms our belief and excitement about the opportunities within the outdoor market.


“Exterion has a great track record in the UK and across Europe and we look forward to working with the team to develop the business further.”


Another interesting deal which completed in November, was the acquisition of Sinclair Pharma plc, a global aesthetics company based in London, by Huadogn Medicine Company Limited, in a deal worth £169m. The beauty and aesthetics industry is growing incredibly fast, and is one of 2018’s biggest growing sectors, with the UK regarded as one of the world leaders.


This acquisition by a well-known Chinese pharmaceutical company highlights the desirability of UK companies within beauty and aesthetics to overseas acquirers.


This is a trend witnessed in many other sectors, as UK companies demonstrate sustained growth and stability, and are therefore a beneficial acquisition target.


London-based start-up Symphony Ventures Ltd, was acquired by Sykes Enterprises Inc, an American outsourcing specialist, for £52m. US interest in UK tech is a growing trend, with many overseas buyers expressing interest in UK companies and start-ups, as they look to stay ahead of innovation and change, in fast-evolving market.


Sykes CEO Chuck Sykes, added in a release that the acquisition “definitively positions SYKES as an early mover and a clear leader amongst its peers in its ability to support clients’ RPA and IA initiatives globally across all facets of their business operations.”


The deal will allow SYKES to “tap into an adjacent market estimated to be $8.1 billion growing at a roughly 30% compound annual growth rate.”


Within the food and beverage sector, well-known UK crisp manufacturer, Pipers Crisps Ltd has been acquired by PepsiCo Inc, for an undisclosed fee.


As well as this significant deal activity involving overseas buyers, domestic activity was also high. Mobile Phones Direct Ltd was acquired by AO World plc, PhD Nutrition Ltd was acquired by Science in Sport Ltd for £32m and ResponseSource Ltd, an online press media request platform, was acquired by Access Intelligence plc.


The deal activity completed within November paints a positive picture for the M&A market in 2019, as UK companies see an increase in interest from a variety of overseas acquirers, and UK trade and private equity investors.


Therefore, for UK company owners, now is a particularly opportune time to seriously consider the value of your company, and evaluate your potential options for the future.


Often, the first steps into this buoyant M&A market, start with a company valuation.


If you would like any further information on the M&A market within your sector, a discussion about the future of your business, or a meeting to discuss your options, please contact our team of experts on 0203 441 2003.