According to Business Intelligence Bureau Van Dijk, December proved to be a busy trading period with 181 transactions recorded for the month. Overseas acquirers were also active during this time with a recording of 74 deals. Despite it being year-end with many businesses now winding down for the festive break, mergers and acquisitions still demonstrated to be highly active this month, highlighting a promising start to the new year.
The largest transaction for the month was the £5.7 billion acquisition of National Grid plc’s gas transmission business by British Columbia Investment Management Corporate. Chief Executive John Pettigrew said, “This transaction further enhances our role in delivering the UK’s energy transition, pivots our portfolio towards electricity, whilst ensuring the security of the energy supply for the country.” While National Grid still own 40% of the business, the remainder could be sold to the consortium between January and June in the upcoming year.
Another significant deal recorded in December was the £19 million acquisition of Anhui Chizhou Fenglin Wood Co., Ltd by Guangxi Fenglin Wood Industry Group Co., Ltd. The acquirer is a China-based company, mainly engaged in the manufacture and sales of artificial boards. Its artificial boards mainly include Fibreboard, plywood and shaving boards. The Company’s Fibreboard are mainly applied in furniture, wood floor buildings and decorations, middle and high end cars and ship fitments, handicraft products, high grade loudspeaker boxes, instruments and electronics, among others. Its shaving boards are applied in furniture manufacture, interior finishing and architectural ornament. The Company is also engaged in forest management and restoration business, including growing trees, planting, stock growing, as well as woods and stocks distribution.
Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisition of Connect Topco Ltd by Viasat Inc for £3.3 billion; Novibet plc by Artemis Strategic Investment Corporation for £575 million; Nexif Energy Holdings BV by RH International (Singapore) Corporation Pte Ltd for £498 million; Moolec Science Ltd by Moolec Science SA for £268 million; and Essentra Filter Holdings by Frank Acquisition Four Ltd for £262 million.
Attraqt Group plc was acquired by Aegean Bidco Ltd for £63 million. Attraqt will be ideal fit for the acquirer’s investment and strategic criteria, based on the group’s strong position in attractive markets, its technology-led business model and multiple levers for future value creation. Tom Crawford, chairman of Attraqt said, “Having carefully considered the range of options available to Attraqt, including the terms of the proposed acquisition, the Attraqt Board has concluded that the acquisition…is in the best interests of Attraqt, its shareholders and wider stakeholders, and as such are unanimously recommending the acquisition to shareholders.”
Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Thanh Man Group Joint Stock Company by Gansu Jingyuan Coal Industry and Electricity Power Co., Ltd; MOKE International Ltd by EC Technology Group Ltd; Goldenberg Hehmeyer LLP by Mirae Asset Securities Co., Ltd; Fablink Group Holdings Ltd by EV Technology Group Ltd; and Logic Wireless Ltd by CSE Technologies Pte Ltd.
The food and beverage sector proved to be particularly busy during this trading period with several deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Hero UK Ltd by S Ventures plc; Yummy-town UK Ltd by RBT Holdings; Eat Natural Ltd by Ferrero SpA; and Janeplan Ltd by Xynergy Groupe SAS.
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 buyers, with active public trade buyers and private equity investors.
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