Business Intelligence, Bureau Van Dijk, recorded an impressive 174 transactions for March, highlighting a significant increase of 54% in comparison to the previous month. Overseas acquirers also saw increased activity during this time with a recording of 63, which is a 40% increase from February.
The largest transaction of the month was the £1.1 billion acquisition of Shaftesbury plc by Capital and Counties Properties plc. Shaftesbury plc is a British real estate investment trust which invests exclusively in the heard of London’s West End. Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Shaftesbury plc, commented, “Today we are delighted to complete the merger, bringing together two highly complementary portfolios to create the leasing central London mixed-use REIT, Shaftesbury Capital PLC. We look ahead with confidence, with an experienced and talents team, to deliver long-term economic and social value for stakeholders and contribute to the success of the West End”.
Another significant deal recorded in March was the £740 million acquisition of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Ltd by Stark Group A/S. Stark Group is a leading business-to-business distributor of heavy building materials for the construction industry in Europe, with a strategic focus on serving professional buildings from its more than 1,150 branches. Stark Group CEO Soren P. Olesen says, “We are very pleased to have completed this acquisition in great time, having announced the deal in mid-December. We look very much forward to welcoming nearly 9,000 colleagues and many new tradespeople to our customer listed in the UK. We have a strategy that successfully focuses on professional tradespeople and the renovation and maintenance market. The UK is an attractive market with solid population growth, one of Europe’s oldest housing stocks, and a huge potential for energy renovations.”
Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisition of Delta Corp Holding Ltd by Delta Corp Holdings Ltd for £528 million; Jardine Motors Group UK Ltd by Lithia Motors Inc. for £300 million; Mobica Ltd by Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation for £250 million; Sun Life of Canada UK Holdings Ltd by Phoenix Group Holdings plc for £248 million; and Juratek Ltd by Fras-Le SA for £18 million.
Burts Snacks Ltd was acquired by Europe Snacks SAS. Founded in 1995, Burts Snacks has grown rapidly in recent years, with revenues jumping from just £29.5 million in the year ended 31 December 2017 to £68 million in 2021. Burts Chairman, Jitu Patel, who is the business’ long-time majority shareholder, added, “Since investing in the company back in 2006, it has been a very enjoyable and impressive journey. I have a huge admiration for Europe Snacks. I am convinced that this acquisition will open up new opportunities, as both businesses are complementary to each other and share deep common values. It has been an honour to work the with the Burts Family over the years and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the combined company every success in the years ahead.”
Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Manhattan Group LLC by Crown Crafts Inc.; Daro Group Ltd by Intellego Technologies AB; Transit Ltd by Oriental Payment Group Holdings Ltd; Space Brands Ltd by Yatsen Holding Ltd; and Sil-Mid Ltd by GracoRoberts.
The Food and Beverage sector proved to be particularly busy during this trading period with a number of deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include CP Chozen Ltd by Investor; EatMwah Ltd by Nex Gen Good Pte Ltd; Proper Cornish Ltd by Maison Boncolac SAS; Venture Dairy Services Ltd by GEA Group AG; and The Eight Fifty Food Group Ltd by Novax AB.
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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