Business Intelligence, Bureau Van Dijk, recorded a busy trading month in M&A with 140 transactions in May, highlighting an impressive increase of 26% from the last month. Overseas acquirers have also increased by 43% with 46 deals recorded for this month.
The largest transaction of the month was the £1.4 billion acquisition of Interactive Investor Ltd by abrdn plc. The two companies have a shared vision of the growth and development of the wealth market and commitment to the customer champion. This acquisition will significantly enhance their presence and growth opportunities within a fast-growing and attractive market. Stephen Bird, Chief Executive Officer of abrdn plc commented, “This is a unique opportunity and a transformative step in delivering our growth strategy. Interactive Investor is the UK’s number one subscription-based investing platform with a powerful reputation as a consumer champion. abrdns’ scale, resources and shared vision will enable Interactive Investor to grow confidently and expand its leadership position in the UK’s attractive savings and wealth market. I am delighted that Richard Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, and his team will continue to lead Interactive Investor plc.”
Another significant deal recorded was the £965 million acquisition of Clipper Logistics plc by GXO Logistics Inc. GXO Logistics is the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider and is benefitting from the rapid growth of ecommerce, automation, and outsourcing. GXO Chief Executive Officer Malcom Wilson said, “We are very pleased to achieve this important milestone. Through this powerful combination, GXO will accelerate our business growth and enhance the value we bring to all stakeholders by providing enhanced offerings to diversified and expanded customer base. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the Clipper team to GXO and believe our complimentary capabilities and offerings in high growth areas, shared focus on innovation and technology, and great, cultural fit will enhance our position as a leading pure-play logistics firm.”
Other high value deals for this month include the acquisition of The Derby County Football Club Ltd by a Private Investor for £150 million; Sanlam Private Investments (UK) Holdings Ltd by Oaktree Capital Management LP for £140 million; Lecta Ltd by Apollo Management LP for £42 million; TicTrac Ltd by Dialogue Health Technologies Inc. for £35 million; and Jablite Group Ltd by BEWI ASA for £10 million.
Specialists in IT outsourcing and consultancy, SITOC Ltd was acquired by Observit AB for £1.5 million. Lars Floden, CEO of Observit AB commented on the acquisition, “We are excited to have ICanProve.IT and SITOC on board to join forces with Observit. I look forward to working together and to benefitting from synergies, particularly in the areas of software development and sales. I believe our English subsidiaries are ideal partners for both our staff and our customers and I am excited by the opportunities to broaden and strengthen our customer offering in the UK market and at the same time enter the markets in the rest of Europe outside the Nordic countries together with them.”
Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Affinity DNA Ltd’s assets by Genetic Technologies Ltd; Footies Ltd acquired by TechFinancials Inc.; Vitalis Remedium Ltd by High Growth Holdings Inc.; Jetstack Ltd by Venafi Inc.; BV Saleswork UK Ltd by Blarney Ventures LLC; Natural Balance Foods Ltd by Lotus Bakeries NV; and Tesab Engineering Ltd by Metso Outotec Oyj.
The IT, technology and web sectors proved to be particularly active this month with a number of transactions taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Zeelo Ltd by Swvl for Smart Transport Applications and Services LLC; Futrli Ltd by Sage (UK) Ltd; Resource Data Management Ltd by Sdiptech AB; StreetHub Ltd by Made.com Group Oyj; and CyberOrchard Ltd by Cloudrise Inc.
To conclude, M&A activity in May 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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