Business Intelligence, Bureau Van Dijk, recorded a busy trading month in M&A with 188 transactions in March, highlighting an impressive increase of 44% from the last month. Overseas acquirers have also increased by 80% with 76 deals recorded this month.
The largest transaction of the month was the £1.2 billion acquisition of JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) Ltd by NEO Energy Group Ltd. Hiroshi Hosoi, JX President and CEO said, “JX is part of the ENEOS Group and is Committed to the Group’s ‘Long Term Vision for 2040’, which includes contributing to the development of a low carbon society. In line with this Long Term Vision, we have been investing in various sustainable projects in the USA.”
Another significant deal recorded was the £1.2 billion acquisition of Blue Prism Group plc by Bolt Bidco Ltd. Bolt Bidco is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of SS&C. Bill Stone, Chairman and CEOR of SS&C said, “Central to SS&C’s value proposition is driving the efficiencies for our customers. Blue Prism is another lever for our customers to gain those efficiencies. In conjunction with Chorus, SS&C’s intelligent automation platform, Blue Prism will accelerate value deliver by automating increasingly complex tasks. Blue Prism will also further optimise our operating models behind our core services and corporate functions to deliver more value to our customers and shareholders. SS&C has a long history of acquiring high-quality businesses and improving their revenue growth profile and cost structure. With SS&C’s management focus, global salesforce, talented development organisation, and significant capital resources, Blue Prism can reach new heights with its intelligent digital workforce. The combination of Blue Prism’s market-leading RPA solutions, and SS&C top position in the financial services and healthcare industries, we believe, will yield significantly improved results.”
Other high value deals for this month include the acquisition of Scotia Gas Networks Ltd by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board for £1.2 billion; Park Holidays UK Ltd by Sun Communities Inc. for £950 million; Roadchef Ltd by Macquarie Asset Management Pty Ltd for £900 million; Euro Auctions (UK) Ltd by Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc for £775 million; McKesson UK Holdings Ltd by Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA for £477 million.
Lloyds Pharmacy Ltd was acquired by Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA for £477 million. Lloyds Pharmacy’s parent company is McKesson UK Holdings and CEO of McKesson Brian Tyler said, “We are extremely proud of the role that our business has played to advance better healthcare in the UK, especially the work during the pandemic to ensure that patients continue to have access to needed medicines and to assist the NHS with the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. As we explore strategic options to fully exit Europe, this transaction provides our UK operation with the best path forward to achieve its long-term growth potential, while allowing McKesson to focus future investments in strategic growth areas outside of Europe.”
Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Busuu Ltd by Chegg Inc.; IPONWEB Ltd by Criteo SA; Incremental Group Holdings Ltd by Telefonica Tech SL; Williams Advanced Engineering Ltd by Fortescue Future Industries Pte Ltd; Azimo Ltd by Papaya Global Ltd; and Sanlam Private Investments (UK) Holdings Ltd by Oaktree Capital Management LP.
The IT, technology and web sectors proved to be particularly active this period with several deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Trustmarque Solutions Ltd by OEP Capital Advisors LP; HooYu Ltd by Mitek Systems Inc; Somo Global Ltd by CI&T Inc.; Content Calendr Ltd by Adobe Inc.; Take Note Ltd by Verbit Software Ltd; and Creativity Software Ltd by SS8 Networks Inc.
To conclude, M&A activity in March 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.
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