Business Intelligence, Bureau Van Dijk, recorded an impressive increase in M&A activity with 184 transactions in June. Overseas acquires have also experienced a boost to 72 overseas deals this month. In comparison to the previous trading period, June highlights a percentage increase of 77% transactions with an 89% increase in overseas acquirers.
The largest transaction of the month was the £7.8 billion acquisition of PPL WPD Investments Ltd by National Grid plc. This transaction will strengthen National Grid’s long-term growth outlook by ensuring a significant scale position in electricity distribution through the acquisition of WPD, who are the UK’s largest electricity distribution business. Electricity distribution is expected to see a high level of asset growth as a result of the ongoing energy transition. John Pettigrew, Chief Executive of National Grid said, “I’d like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you from all of us at National Grid to all the fantastic Rhode Island colleagues who have worked so hard over the years to deliver the energy needs for our customers across Rhode Island. I know that PPL will be an excellent steward for both NECO’s customers and colleagues. As we move our portfolio to higher growth assets, we have taken the decision to sell majority stake in NGG. Given the strategic nature of its business coupled with its central position in transition towards a hydrogen economy, it will continue to play a vital role in the UK’s energy system. We expect strong interest when the sale process begins, likely to be in the second half of this year.”
Another significant deal recorded was the £6.8 billion acquisition of ASDA Group Ltd by TDR Capital LLP. Roger Burnley, chief executive of Asda, commented on the deal and said, “This new ownership opens an exciting new chapter in Asda’s long heritage of delivering great value for UK shoppers. With our combined investment, expertise and ambition, Asda, Walmart, the Issa brothers and TDR have an incredible opportunity to accelerate our existing strategy and develop an even more exciting offer for our customers, as well as strengthen our business for colleagues”.
Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisition of Alliance Healthcare (Distribution) Ltd by AmerisourceBergen Corporation for £4.6 billion; Signature Aviation plc by Brown Bidco Ltd for £3.3 billion; Kaz Minerals plc by Nova Resources BV for 2.4 million; Cobham pls’ mission systems division by Eaton Corporation plc for £1.9 billion; Cardtronics plc by NCR Corporation for £1.7 billion; Capco by Wipro Ltd for £1 billion; Exxon Mobil Corporation’s British Central and Northern North Sea assets by NEO Energy Group Ltd for £936 million; and Bristol Water Holdings UK Ltd by Pennon Group plc for £814 million.
RSA Insurance Group plc was acquired by Regent Bidco Ltd for £7.2 billion. Martin Sciciluna, RSA Group Chairman, commented, “Its has been a very great privilege to Chair RSA for the past eight years and oversee the development and implementation of a fundamental change in strategy which has resulted in a much more focussed, stronger and more profitable Company. I am very grateful to our CEO, Stephen Hester, for his outstanding leadership and drive in the transformation of our Company.” RSA is one of the world’s longest standing general insurers, providing peace of mind to individuals and families, and protecting small business and large corporation from uncertainty for over 300 years. They provide award-winning personal, commercial and speciality insurance products and service direct-to-customers, via brokers and affinity partners.
Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Nutmeg Saving and Investment Ltd by JP Morgan; BBI Group Holdco Ltd by Novo Holdings A/S; Runtime Collective Ltd by Cision Inc.; Inivata Lts by NeoGenomics Inc.; Deep Sea Electronics Ltd by Generac Holdings Inc.; AFH Financial Group plc by Cortina Bidco Ltd; and QCL holdings Ltd by Northleaf Capital Partners Ltd.
The medical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors proved to be particularly active this month with numerous deals taking place. Among these acquisitions include Alliance Health (Distribution) Ltd by AmerisourceBergen Corporation; Advanz Pharma Corporation Ltd by Cidron Aida Bidco Ltd; Allergan Biologics Ltd by Pharmaron Biologics (UK) Holdings Ltd; BBI Healthcare Ltd by Venture Life Group plc; and Gel Ltd by Marlowe plc.
In summary, June’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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