Concluding another significant year, December showed an increase in deal volumes in comparison to the previous month with an impressive figure of 121 deals, of which 40 were overseas acquirers. This highlights an increase of 16% from November as well as a 67% increase in overseas acquisitions.
The largest deal value this month presents a substantial figure of £2.6 billion. This involved the acquisition of Inmarsat plc, a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global mobile services, by Connect Bidco Ltd.
Other high value deals for the month include the acquisition of Kantar UK Ltd by Bain Capital LP for £1.83 billion; The Equitable Life Assurance Society by Life Company Consolidation Group Ltd for £1.8 billion; Prudential plc’s annuity business by Rothesay Life plc for £1.5 billion; and Eaton Towers Holdings Ltd by ATC Heston BV for £1.4 billion.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP acquired Wireless Infrastructure Group Ltd for £575 million. Scott Coates, CEO of Wireless Infrastructure Group, said, “We are delighted to welcome Brookfield as our shareholder and for the opportunity to partner with large-scale patient capital. Brookfield is one of the world’s largest infrastructure investors and its focus on data infrastructure and developing assets that can transform communities, aligns with our ambition to help improve connectivity across the UK”. Sam Pollock, CEO of Brookfield Infrastructure further commented, “We are very pleased to be partnering with the management team at WIG to support their continued growth. We have been impressed by the Company’s accomplishments to date and look forward to supporting WIG’s continued expansion, both in products and geographies. WIG is our first investment in UK data infrastructure and underpins our commitment to both sector and country”.
A number of acquisitions have taken place within the IT and software development sector during December. Skymoons Edinburgh Limited was obtained by an overseas acquirer, HK Zhuo Yue Chen Xing Co., Ltd for £8.7 million; Netalogue Technologies plc was acquired by TrueCommerce Holdings Ltd for £5.7 million; and Lakeview Computers Ltd was acquired by Kerridge Commercial Systems Ltd.
Legal & General Insurance Ltd, was acquired by Allianz Holdings plc for £242 million. Legal & General Chief Executive Nigel Wilson commented, “Selling the general insurance business is the right decision for our customers and shareholders. We continue to focus on delivering against our strategy, allocating shareholder’s capital rigorously. Our GI customers will benefit from strength and capability of Allianz in the household insurance sector.”
Some of the overseas deals this month include: DS Smith Plastics Ltd was acquired by Olympus Partners LP for £445 million; Eland Oil & Gas plc was acquired by Seplat Petroleum Development Company plc for £382 million; Elegant Hotels Group plc was acquired by International Hotel Licensing Company Sarl for £151 million; Plastique Ltd was acquired by Sonoco Plastics Inc for £142 million; and Inchcape Fleet Solutions Ltd was acquired by Toyote Fleet Mobility GmbH for £100 million.
In summary, this months’ M&A activity has taken place in a varied range of sectors, with significant deals contributing to this month’s overall figure. With active public trader buyers as well as private equity investors, the UK continues to appeal to acquirers from both the UK and overseas.
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