As we enter the fourth quarter of 2017, we can safely say that the UK has experienced a highly successful year in terms of M&A. Both high deal volumes and deal values have been witnessed throughout the market, with UK companies proving to be extremely popular with buyers across the globe.
The month of September saw 188 deals involving UK target companies completed, according to company deals database, Zephyr. Collectively, these deals generated disclosed values of over £9.7bn, a total which is largely due to a select number of high profile and extremely valuable transactions.
The most valuable and arguably the most notable deal completed during September 2017 involved the £2.6bn takeover of Berendsen plc by Elis SA. Berendsen is a London-headquartered provider of textile maintenance and hygiene services, offering its services to a range of organisations including hospitals, hotels, restaurants, manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies. The acquirer, Elis, is a French competitor, operating within the same sector throughout Europe.
The month of September also saw UK health retailer and household name, Holland & Barrett International Ltd, acquired for a sum of £1.7bn by L1 Retail (UK) LLP. L1 Retail, a fund controlled by Russian billionaire, Mikhail Fridman, purchased the chain from its previous owner, US private equity firm, Carlyle. The deal represents L1 Retail’s first purchase, having only been established in late 2016.
Moy Park Holdings (Europe) Ltd, a Northern Ireland-based food company, was also acquired during September. Alongside being one of the UK’s top fifteen food companies, Moy Park has also secured its position as Northern Ireland’s largest private sector business and one of Europe’s leading poultry producers. Moy Park was acquired for a value of £985m by Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, a Brazilian-owned, American food company, which operates as the largest chicken producer in the US.
September also saw the £914m acquisition of The Body Shop International plc by Natura (Brasil) International BV. The Body Shop was sold to Brazilian cosmetics manufacturer, Natura Cosméticos, by L’Oréal in a bid to grow internationally and boost sales.
A number of mid-market deals helped to contribute towards September’s monthly totals. Zephyr reports that the values of 21 completed mid-market transactions were disclosed throughout the month. These included the £74.6m acquisition of the well-known Fintech business, Monitise plc, by Fiserv, Victoria plc’s £65m acquisition of Interfloor, a leading flooring provider, and Macfarlane Group’s £16.6m takeover of Nottingham Recycling.
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