As the year concluded, Business Intelligence, Bureau Van Dijk, recorded a busy trading month in M&A with 113 transactions in December 2021. Overseas acquirers were also noted to be active during this month with a recording of 56 deals, highlighting an increase of almost 10%.
The largest transaction of the month was the £43.8 billion acquisition of BHP Group plc by BHP Group Ltd. Formerly known as BHP Billiton Plc, BHP Group plc is a global resources company. The Company is a producer of various commodities, including iron ore, metallurgical coals, copper and uranium. Its segments include Petroleum, Copper, Iron Ore and Coal. It extracts and processes minerals, oils and gas from its production operations. The business also manages distribution through its’ global logistics chain, including freight and pipeline transportation.
Another significant deal recorded was the £4 billion acquisition of Selfridges & Co Ltd by SIGNA Holding GmbH. The Selfridges portfolio, which includes 18 sites across England, Ireland and the Netherlands has now been acquired by the Thai retailer Central Group and Austrian real estate company Signa Holdings. A statement released by the Central Group said the acquisition will “create one of the world’s leading omni-channel luxury department store groups”.
Other high value deals for this month include the acquisition of GBT JerseyCo Ltd by Apollo Strategic Growth Capital for £3 billion; Mapil Topco Ltd by Signa International Sports Holding GmbH for £2.4 billion; Daily Mail and General Trust plc by Rothermere Continuation Ltd for £1.8 billion; Interactive Investor Ltd by abrdn plc for £1.4 billion; BenevolentAI Ltd by Odyssey Acquisition SA for £1.2 billion; and Gyroscope Therapeutics Holdings plc by Novartis AG for £1.1 billion.
Elysium Healthcare Ltd was acquired by Ramsay Health Care Ltd for £775 million. Although the leadership and daily operations will not change, the new ownership to a long-standing and well-regarded organisation means that both companies can continue to expand and develop their services for the long-term future. Ramsay Health Care is a global health care operator employing more than 80,000 people at more than 460 sites across Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia. It provides health care to over 8 million patients per year through a network of hospitals, day surgeries, specialist clinics and primary care units. Both Elysium and Ramsay are closely aligned in terms of values and goals to provide the best healthcare.
Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Hastings Group Holdings plc by Sampo Oyj; Eusa Pharma (UK) Ltd by Recordati – Industria Chimica a Farmaceutica SpA; Anord Mardix (UK) Ltd by Flex Ltd; MESH Holdings plc by All Active Asset Capital Ltd; Roper Rhodes Ltd by Svedbergs I Dalstorp AB; and Seedrs Ltd by OpenDeal Inc.
The computer and software industries proved to be particularly active this month with several deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Blue Prism Group plc by Bolt Bidco Ltd; ClearPay Finance Ltd by Afterpay Ltd; Silverlinks PCS Software Ltd by Alcidion Group Ltd; Passfort Ltd by Moody’s Corporation; Content Calendr Ltd by Adobe Inc.; Fluidly Ltd by OakNorth Bank plc; and Cloudreach Holdings Ltd by Atos SE.
To conclude, M&A activity in December 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, with active public trade buyers and private equity investors.
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