Mergers and Acquisitions in April 2021

Business intelligence Bureau Van Dijk, recorded 129 deals in April highlighting a buoyant M&A environment. Overseas acquirers also proved to be busy with a recording of 43 deals during this trading period.

The largest transaction for the month was the £2.9 billion acquisition of William Hill plc by Caesars UK Holdings Ltd. This historic acquisition would merge together Caesars, one of the largest gaming-entertainment companies in the U.S. and one the world’s most diversified gaming entertainment provisions, and William Hill, one of the world’s leading betting and gambling companies. Caesars’s chief executive Tom Reeg commented on the deal and said, “The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the U.S. is a truly exciting prospect. William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars current offering, enabling the combines group to serve our customers in the fast-growing U.S. sports betting and online market. We look forward to working with William Hill to support future growth in the U.S by providing our customers with a superior and comprehensive experience across all areas of gaming, sports betting, and entertainment.”

Another significant deal recorded was the £1 billion acquisition of Kymab Ltd by Sanofi Foreign Participants BV. Kymab is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing human monoclonal antibody therapeutics with a focus on immune mediated diseases and immune-oncology, using its proprietary, integrated platforms collectively called Intelliselect. Sanofi Chief Executive Officer, Paul Hudson commented on the transaction, “The Kymab acquisition add KY1005 to our dynamic pipeline, a potential first-in-class treatment for a range of immune and inflammatory diseases. The novel mechanism of action may provide treatment for patients with suboptimal responses to available therapies. We understand from our ongoing work in debilitating immunological diseases how critical it is to find the right treatment for each patient. We look forward to rapidly developing this investigational medicine.”

Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisition of Ashworth and Parker Ltd by The Carlyle Group LP for £700 million; Scapa Group plc by AMS Holdco 2 Ltd for £412 million; KMPG LLP’s UK restructuring business by Interpath Advisory Ltd for £400 million; EMMAC Life Sciences plc by Curaleaf Holdings Inc. for £248 million; Stoke Park Ltd by Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd for £57 million; FutureLearn Ltd by SEEK Ltd for £50 million; Sentinel Performance Solutions Group Ltd by Aalberts NV for £22 million; and Volga Gas plc by GEM Capital Holdings (CY) Ltd for £19 million.

BioCity Group Ltd was acquired by Trinity Investment Management Ltd for £120 million. Trinity Investment Management are a privately owned real estate company specialising in impact investment in the UK and Ireland. Alongside the provision of affordable housing, Trinity is an operator, developer and manager of UK real estate for the life sciences sector. BioCity chief executive Toby Reid said, “The aims for our business are the same as those within our Collective. To scale a promising venture into commercial success and continually develop that business to realise its full potential and achieve the funding goal. It is with immense pride that today we announce our next step along the path.”

Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Createmaster Ltd by Zutec Holdings AB; Braemar Wavespec Ltd by Wavespec Holding BV; Delta Sound Incorporated (UK) Ltd by L-Acoustics SAS; Blue Sky Natural Resources Ltd by IGEA Pharma NV; Spinaclean Ltd by Lifco AB; Abtech Safety Ltd by Bergman & Beving AB; and AutoRestore Ltd by Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA.

The construction and building sector proved to be particularly active this month with numerous deals taking place. Among these acquisitions include Construction Plant & Machinery Sales (South East) Ltd’s business operation by Guangxi Liugong Machinery Co., Ltd; BlokCorp Ltd by The Crosby Group LLC; and ESi Controls Ltd by Addtech AB.

In summary, April’s M&A activity has taken place in a number of different sectors, with significant deals contributing to this month’s overall figure. With active public trade buyers as well as private equity investors, the UK continues to appeal to acquirers from both the UK and overseas. 

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