According to Business Intelligence Bureau Van Dijk, August proved to be a busy trading period with 211 transactions recorded for the month, highlighting an impressive increase of 36% from July. Overseas acquirers were also active during this time with a recording of 68 deals, also a rise of 24% from the previous month.
The largest transaction for the month was the £4.4 billion acquisition of Shel Holdings Europe Ltd by SIGNA Holding GmbH. SIGNA real estate operates from eleven locations in Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The gross asset value of the real estate group amounts to around 26 billion euros. The company is divided into four independent business segments: SIGNA Prime Selection AG; SIGNA Development Selection AG; SIGNA Sports United; and SIGNA Home & Lifestyle.
Another significant deal recorded for the month was the £1.5 billion acquisition of Sanne Group plc by Apex Acquisition Company Ltd. The acquisition now positions Apex Group as a global, top-tier independent service provider, servicing nearly $3 trillion in assets across administration, depositary, custody, and under management. The addition of Sanne brings another 2,500 people into the Group and adds six new locations in Denmark, Japan, Serbia, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. Apex Group now operates from 80 offices in more than 40 markets worldwide, with over 10,000 employees. Peter Hughes, Founder and CEO of Apex Group, said, “With today’s announcement we have reached an inflection point in Apex Group’s story, as we become one of the largest providers in our space. Our M&A strategy is not simply about growth, it’s about expanding our capabilities and experience to be the best possible service partner to our clients.”
Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisition of John Menzies plc by GIL International Holdings V Ltd for £763 million; Altus Strategies plc by Elemental Royalties Corporation for £60 million; Acro Holdings Ltd by Shanghai Tiancheng Aviation Technology Co., Ltd for £59 million; Footasylum Ltd by Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA for £37 million; Networks Centre Holding Company Ltd by Alacadon Group AB for £37 million; and Fat Llama Ltd by Hygglo AB for £34 million.
PEN Partnership was acquired by Wavestone SA for £30 million. PEN Partnership is an independent business consulting firm specialising in Financial Services and Life Sciences. The company has established itself as a trusted partner for its clients operating across the Financial Services and Life Sciences sectors. Its serves some of the most reputable organisations within these industries across four specialisms: customer experiences & digital, operations & automation, data & technology, and change delivery and capability. The company is headquartered in London, with a headcount of circa 60 employees and an additional 40 contractors. Chris Gibson, PEN Partnership’s CEO, commented “Wavestone and PEN Partnership together make a powerful combination, and this is really great news for our clients and staff. The two companies provide complementary services and share very similar corporate culture and values. Wavestone has an ambitious growth plan, and I am very excited to for the Pen team to play a key role in building a leading consultancy player in the UK market.”
Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Ricardo plc’s UK software business by Fog Software Group; Headstart App Ltd by Silverback United Inc.; Adan Holding Ltd by Veljan Denison Ltd; Docking & Company Ltd by PWR Holdings; and Doocey North East Ltd by Netel Holding AB.
The IT, technology and web sectors proved to be particularly busy during the trading period with several deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Brightblue Consulting Ltd by MightyHive Inc.; reinfer Ltd buy UiPath Inc.; Graffica Ltd by Sopra Steria Group Ltd; EZ Education Ltd by Discovery Education; Digital Detox Ltd by Ernst & Young Global Ltd; and Intelligence Fusion Ltd by Sigma7.
To conclude, M&A activity in August 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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