Mergers and Acquisitions in February 2020

Business Intelligence, Bureau Van Dijk, recorded a volume of 79 deals this February, of which included 27 overseas acquirers.

The largest deal of the month was for an impressive value of £500 million the in Potter UK Bidco Ltd’s acquisition of Hansteen Holdings plc. Hansteen Holdings plc is a leading owner and asset manager of a diverse portfolio of industrial property located predominantly across the UK.

Another impressive transaction recorded this month was for the acquisition of Redde plc by Northgate plc for £402 million. Northgate plc is a vehicle hire group which has merged with accident management specialist Redde plc. Chair Palmer-Baunack comment on the deal and said, “The combination will create a champion automotive services business with scale, reach and resources to provide mobility solutions to a broad customer base. The merger has compelling strategic logic – delivering an enlarged platform providing enhanced mobility solutions for vehicles and their users throughout the automotive services value chain.” Redde chair John Davies who will become a non-executive director on the board, added “Combining Redde’s talent with Northgates’ scale and market-leading presence creates a platform business that has much potential and I am particularly looking forward to highly talented management, which has proven skill and vision to drive shareholder value.

The volume of overseas transactions for February were particularly impressive and were among the higher value transactions this month. These included the acquisition of Hammerson plc’s seven retail parks portfolio by Orion European Real Estate Fund for £400 million; Pageant Media Ltd by ICG Europe Mid-Market Fund for £150 million; Proxibid Inc. by TA Associates Management for £120 million; and Pod Point Holding Ltd by Electricite de France SA for £100 million.

Other overseas deals this month include the acquisition of: Laurin Shipping by Team Tankers International Ltd; Ebrex Business Solutions by NTG Nordic Transport Group; Ortac Resources (UK) Ltd by MetalsTech Ltd; Condessa Ltd by ArcelorMittal France; 1st Eleven Ltd by Planet Ventures Inc; Integrated Food Projects Ltd by Niras Gruppen; Biosite Systems Ltd by Assa Abloy; and Vernacare Ltd by HIG Capital LLC.

Cornealian Asset Managers Group Ltd was acquired by Brooks Macdonald Group plc for £39 million. According to a stock exchange announcement, the deal is in line with Brooks Macdonald’s ‘strategy to explore selective and high-quality inorganic opportunities’ and will strengthen the group’s adviser reach. Chief executive at Brooks MacDonald, Caroline Connellan said, “From the outset of our discussions with Cornelian, we have been struck by the complimentary cultures, investment processes and business models of the two firms, with both having a strong focus on clients and intermediaries. We are delighted that we have been able to agree a transaction that brings additional multi-asset capability and distribution strength into the group”. Cornelian’s chief executive, Jeremy Richardson added that he was impressed by Brooks Macdonald’s “strong client focus and growth aspirations” adding that the client and intermediary support helped Cornelian’s success.

The technology sector was particularly active this month. Living Lens Enterprise Ltd was acquired by Medallia Inc; Newman and Spurr Consultancy Ltd was acquired by QinetiQ Group plc; Digital Surgery Ltd was acquired by Medtronic plc; Communisis Digital Ltd was acquired by Saggezza Inc; and Encore Tickets Ltd was acquired by TodayTix Inc.

In summary, February’s M&A activity has taken place in a number of different 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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