Mergers and Acquisitions in January 2021

According to business intelligence experts, Bureau Van Dijk, the beginning of the 2021 proved to be a busy month for the UK M&A market with 149 transactions recorded for January, of which 49 were overseas acquirors. This highlights a 58% increase in deals when compared to the previous month, portraying a promising period ahead for the M&A market.

The largest transaction of January was the £19.7 billion acquisition of Refinitiv Ltd by London Stock Exchange Group plc. David Schwimmer, Chief Executive Officer, LSEG, said, “Completion of the acquisition of Refinitiv marks an important milestone in LSEG’s history. I am delighted to welcome our new Board Directors, shareholders, executive management and all the new Refinitiv colleagues joining LSEG. This transformational transaction brings together two highly complementary global businesses with a shared commitment to an Open Access philosophy, working in partnership with customers. LSEG is focused on delivering the benefits of the transactions helping customers to access data, trading tools, analytics and risk management across financial markets and at a scale around the globe. LSEG is well positioned for long-term sustainable growth in a rapidly evolving landscape as a leading global financial markets infrastructure and data provider”.

Another significant deal recorded was the £654 million acquisition of Highland Gold Mining Ltd by Fortiana Holdings Ltd. Highland gold Mining Ltd was incorporated for the purpose of acquiring, consolidating and developing a portfolio of quality gold mining projects in the Russian Federation with good growth potential. The company’s vision is to become the most profitable gold mining company in Russian and Central Asia with a firm commitment towards safety, health and the environment, and social responsibility towards employees and communities.

Other noteworthy deals for this month include the acquisition of Urban&Civic plc by The Wellcome Trust Ltd for £507 million; Wolseley UK Ltd by Clayton Dubilier & Rice Inc. for £308 million; Hindawi Ltd by John Wiley & Sons Inc. for £219 million; Drax Generation Enterprise Ltd by VPI Holding Ltd for £193 million; and Groundsure Ltd by ATI UK Holdings Ltd for £170 million.

Some of the overseas deals that took place during the reporting period include the acquisition of Yang Ming (UK) Ltd by Yang Ming (Netherlands) BV for £70 million; Bristol Uniforms Ltd by MSA Safety Inc. for £43 million; Pasta Evangelists Ltd by Blu1877 srl for £40 million; Lidco Group plc by Masimo LHC Ltd for £29 million; Rangers International Football Club plc by New Oasis Investments Ltd for £19 million; FFX Group Ltd by H2 Equity Partners BV for £17 million; and Mediacle Ltd by Pantalauren Group AB for £11 million.

The insurance sector was particularly active this month with a number of deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Inceptum Insurance Company Ltd by Randall & Quilter II Holdings Ltd; World Marine & General Insurance Company Ltd by Randall & Quilter II Holdings Ltd; and British Reserve Insurance Company Ltd by Marco Capital Holdings Ltd.

In summary, January’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. 

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