Mergers and Acquisitions in February 2023

According to Business Intelligence Bureau Van Dijk, February proved to be an active trading period with 113 transactions recorded for the month. Overseas acquirers were also busy during this time with a recording of 45 deals.

The largest transaction for the month was the £2.6 billion acquisition of Wood Mackenzie Ltd by Veritas Capital Fund Management LLC. Wood Mackenzie is a globally recognised industry leader that has been providing quality data, analytics and insights used to power the energy, renewables and natural resources industry for nearly 50 years. Ramzi Musallam, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Veritas commented, “We are excited to welcome Wood Mackenzie to the Veritas portfolio and partner with the team to drive its next phase of growth. Building on its decades of leadership and innovation in the energy industry, Wood Mackenzie is well positioned to expand and enhance the critical insights provided to its growing customer base across the entire energy and renewables value chain”.

Another significant deal recorded in February was the £271 million acquisition of K3 Capital Group plc by Shin Bidco Ltd. K3’s brands include KBS Corporate, KBS Corporate Finance, Quantuma, Knightsbridge, Knight Corporate Finance Group and randd uk. Shin Bidco is a company controlled by affiliates of Sun Europeans Partners. Ian Mattioli, non-executive chairman of K3 said, “Since IPO in 2017, management has continued to execute its strategy of building a multi-disciplinary and complementary group, providing specialist advisory services to SMEs across three core divisions, business sales, tax and restructuring. Sun is an experienced investor with a proven track record in supporting strong management teams in achieving their growth ambitions. K3 will be able to benefit from their operational expertise whilst having a supportive partner with the capital required to fund K3’s M&A strategy.”

Alexander Wyndham, a principal at Sun, said: “K3 has consistently won market share across its various verticals and cemented itself as a leader within the SME advisory sector. As a long-term investor with significant buy and build experience, we are excited to partner with management to capitalise on market opportunities. We look forward to supporting management scale the business through the expansion of operations and service offerings.”

Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisition of an undisclosed UK car park portfolio by Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc. for £305 million; Ltd by Gruppo MutuiOnline SpA for £133 million; Brighton Grand Hotel Operations Ltd by Fattal Holdings (1998) Ltd; Small Pharma Ltd by Unilock Capital Corporation for £51 million; and Tide Developments Ltd by Dalata Hotel Group plc for £44 million.

Social Chain Ltd was acquired by Brave Bison Group plc for £17 million. Established in 2014, Manchester-based Social Chain has made an impact in the industry. Going from building some of the biggest communities in social media and shaking up the market, to growing into one of the leading social media agencies in the world. It now delivers stand-out social media and advertising campaigns for global brands including Amazon, TikTok, Arla and KFC. Pete Metcalfe, CEO of Social Chain, commented, “Joining with Brave Bison is a great move for us. This will only help to enhance our plans to grow the Social Chain proposition and build on our continued success. We are excited to work closed with like-minded people that align with our culture. It not only gives us the opportunity to build combined services of client, we also have the chance to benefit from the clear momentum behind the Brave Bison business”.

Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Ensurance UK Ltd by PSC Insurance Group Ltd; Cleveland Cascades Ltd by Lifco AB; Grosvenor Gardens House by Bain Capital Credit LP; and Hodge Life Assurance Company Ltd by Reinsurance Group of America Inc.

The IT and Technology sector proved to be particularly busy during this trading period with a number of deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Westek Technology Ltd by Roda Computer GmbH; Ecospend Technologies Ltd by Trustly Group AB; Roxor Gaming Ltd by Aristocrat Leisure Ltd; and Ziath Ltd by Azenta Inc.

To conclude, M&A activity in February 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. Our expert advisers can help you realise the maximum value of your company. Whether you are considering exit strategy options or exploring other opportunities, 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.