Mergers and Acquisitions in February 2021

Business Intelligence, Bureau Van Dijk, recorded an impressive 134 transactions for February, of which 49 were overseas acquirors.

The largest transaction of the month was the £1 billion acquisition of Priory Group Ltd by Waterland Private Equity Investments BV. Priory is a leading provider of behavioural healthcare services in the UK. The group supports over 30,000 people a year in over 450 facilities across the UK, focusing on mental health and addiction rehabilitation, special educational services as well as adult care. Waterland, one of the best performing private equity firms globally, combined with the Priory Group creates Europe’s leading rehabilitation and mental health service providers. The merged group will be able to treat 260,000 patients across 570 clinics.

Another significant deal recorded was the £945 million acquisition of Codemasters Group Holdings plc by Codex Games Ltd. Codemasters is a video game developer and publisher, specialising in high quality racing games. The company is one of the most recognised British game developers and publishers, with a 30-year track record of producing successful games.

Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisition of McCarthy & Stone plc by Mastiff Bidco Ltd for £647 million; Goco Group plc by Future plc for £594 million; IMImobile plc by Cisco Systems Holdings UK Ltd for £543 million; Capita Business Services Ltd by Tiger UK Bidco Ltd for £400 million; Wolseley UK Ltd by Clayton Dubilier & Rice Inc for £308 million; Top Shop/Top Man Ltd’s brand by ASOS plc for £295 million; London Topco Ltd by Polypipe Group plc for £210 million; Drax Generation Enterprise Ltd by VPI Holding Ltd for £193 million; Rolec Services Ltd by Sdiptech AB for £80 million; and BigChange Group Ltd by Great Hill Partners LLC for £75 million.

Notonthehighstreet, which trades as Not On The High Street, was acquired by Great Hill Partners LLC, an American investment firm for £150 million. Founded in 2006, the London-based company employs over 150 people and oversees a marketplace of more than 5,000 small businesses selling over 250,000 products. Claire Davenport, chief executive, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to our founders and past shareholders for all they’ve done for the business to date and we are delighted to work with Great Hill Partners, Burda and Industry for the next exciting stage of our growth.”

Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of East Point Geo Ltd by AqualisBraemar ASA for £750,000; Pultrex Ltd by KraussMaeffei Group GmbH; Price & Pierce Forest Products by International Forest Products LLC; Bankside Patterson Ltd by AL-KO Kober Holdings Ltd; Borland Insurance Ltd AssuredPartners Inc.; Holland & Holland Ltd by Beretta Holdings SA; Heathpak Ltd by Solidus Solutions North Group Holdings BV; Optimus Cards UK Ltd by Uphold Inc.; and Technology Solutions (UK) Ltd by HID Global Corporation.

The IT and computer sector were particularly active this month with a number of noteworthy deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Audiu Ltd by LANDR Audio Inc; Edenhouse Solutions Ltd by Accenture plc; Wearable Technologies Ltd by Blackline Safety Corporation; Oxford Analytica Ltd by FiscalNote Inc; Infinity Works Consulting Ltd by Accenture plc; Williams Commerce Ltd by Skynamo (Pty) Ltd; and Hentsu Ltd by Portfolio BI 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 trade buyers as well as private equity investors, the UK continues to appeal to acquirers from both the UK and overseas. 

Our team is highly experienced and can assist you in realising the value of your company. Whether you are considering exit strategy options or exploring another avenue, you can call our team in confidence on 0203 441 2003. Alternatively, you can use our free, online valuation calculator to determine the value of your company.