Mergers and Acquisitions in April 2023

According to Business Intelligence Bureau Van Dijk, April proved to be an active trading period with 193 transactions recorded for the month, highlighting a significant increase of 71% from March. Overseas acquirers were also busy during this time with a recording of 52 deals, also highlighting an increase of 15% from the previous month.

The largest transaction of the month was the £1.1 billion acquisition of Amryt Pharma plc by Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA. Chiesi Farmaceutic is an international, research-focused biopharmaceuticals and healthcare group. Amryt Pharma is a global, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to acquiring, developing, and commercializing novel treatments for rare diseases. Marco Vecchia, Chief Executive Officer of Chiesi Group, commented:“With this transaction, we are further expanding our commitment to people living with rare diseases, the majority of which still have no cure or approved treatment. This addition of the Amryt portfolio, as well as their expertise, will help us on our journey to bring medicines to patients, no matter how rare their condition may be. We look forward to working with Amryt towards a successful closing of the transaction. Amryt has steadily brought innovative products to new markets and, by adding them to the Chiesi portfolio, we hope to make them available to even more patients who may require them.

Another significant deal recorded for the month was the £248 million acquisition of Sun Life of Canada UK Holdings Ltd by Phoenix Group Holdings plc. Phoenix Group CEO, Andy Briggs commented, “The acquisition of Sun Life UK is highly attractive for Phoenix Group and demonstrates the significant value that smaller cash funded M&A transactions can deliver for our shareholders. We expect this acquisition to deliver incremental long-term cash generation of around £470 million, inclusive of cost and capital synergies. This supports a 2.5% dividend increase, in line with our ambition to sustainably grow our dividend over time. We welcome the colleagues who will join us from Sun Life UK, and as the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business with a strong track record of closed book integrations, we look forward to offering a safe home for Sun Life UK’s customers over the long term. I am pleased that we will also be able to offer Sun Life UK’s customers access to our broad range of Standard Life products in our Open division.”

Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisitions of Airvending Ltd by Caledonia Investments plc for £143 million; Skycon Ltd by Better Collective A/S for £45 million; Whalsay Energy Ltd by EnQuest plc for £32 million; SG Technologies Group Ltd by Neo Performance Materials Inc. for £16 million; and Lartington Hall Ltd by The Apartment Group Inc. for £3 million.

Applied Graphene Materials UK Ltd was acquired by Universal Matter Inc. The acquisition aims to accelerate the growth of novel graphene-based solutions by combining UMI’s proprietary graphene capabilities and AGM’s dispersion platform technologies. This combination will also help create a compelling value proposition for many industries by further capitalizing on UMI’s unique flash joule heating (FJH) process for upcycling carbon waste into high-performance, sustainable graphene solutions. John van Leeuwen, CEO of Universal Matter, commented, “The acquisition of AGM fits exceptionally well with UMI’s growth strategy by significantly enhancing our dispersion and application capabilities for advanced paints and coatings. Moreover, it will provide UMI with an important European footprint for strengthening our growth potential.”

Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Upcycle Labs Ltd by PDS Ventures Ltd; GPC Computer Software Ltd by Uber Technologies Inc.; RVA SA by Aurea SA; gohenry Ltd by Acorns Grow Inc.; and Sivyer Logistics Ltd by Holcim AG.

The IT and technology sector proved to be particularly busy during this trading period with several deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Micro Focus International plc by Open Text Holding Ltd; AVEVA Group plc by Ascot Acquisition Holdings Ltd; Zeus Enterprises Ltd by Publicis Groupe SA; and Cloud Technology Solutions Ltd by Marlin Management Company LLC.

To conclude, M&A activity in April spans across a number of sectors, with some significant deals contributing to this month’s overall figure. The UK maintains appeal from both the UK and global buyers, with active public trade buyers and private equity investors.

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