Mergers and Acquisitions in May 2023

Business Intelligence, Bureau Van Dijk, recorded an impressive 194 transactions for May. Overseas acquirers saw increased activity during this time with a recording of 61, highlighting a 17% rise from April.

The largest transaction of the month was the £157 million acquisition of Glanbia Cheese Ltd by Leprino Foods Company. Leprino Foods and Glanbia plc began the Glanbia Cheese joint venture in 2000 and the business has become a market-leading European mozzarella business with over 500 employees. There are two manufacturing facilities in the UK – Llangefni in Wales and Magheralin in Northern Ireland – as well as a corporate office in Northwich, England. A third manufacturing facility is located in Portlaoise, Ireland. Leprino Foods President and Chief Executive Officer, Mike Durkin, commented, “With its distinction of being the leading mozzarella manufacturer in Europe, we are proud of the business that we helped build over the past two decades. With this acquisition now completed, we are extremely excited about the potential to take advantage of our combined expertise, knowledge and strengths to further enhance and expand our international presence by providing access to key markets across the globe.”  

Another significant deal recorded for the month was the £144 million acquisition of Special Melted Products Ltd by Cogne Acciai Speciali SpA. Based in Sheffield, UK, SMP is a leading manufacturer of premium, specialty steels and nickel-based Super Alloys used in critical applications in the Aerospace, Oil & Gas and Nuclear industries. Cogne Acciai Speciali is a leading global supplier of stainless-steel long products and nickel alloys. Through the acquisition of SMP, the Company intends to further develop its position in SMP’s specific business sectors, fostering further growth to position itself as a key European player in top-end stainless steel long products. Johannes Laumann, CIO of Mutares, comments: “I could not be happier today to announce the exit of SMP. With our entrepreneurial approach, we were able to transform SMP successfully in a very short period of time and now hand over the company to the best new owner, who will further give SMP new growth impetus after returning it to a sustainable growth path. The final sale will mark the most successful exit in our history. We are delivering as promised.”

Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisition of BayWa r.e. AG’s Dalquhandy wind farm by Greencoat UK Wind plc for £50 million; D-Link (Europe) Ltd by D-Link Corporation for £32 million; Ballymena, UK-based 3MW anaerobic digestion plant by Stream BioEnergy Ltd for £23 million; and Merge Games Ltd by Zordix AB for £12.50 million.

The Ambassador Platform Ltd was acquired by IDP Education Ltd for £9 million. The Ambassador Platform is a technology partner of IDP Education since 2019 and enables higher education institutions to leverage the power of their students’ voices in their marketing and recruitment campaigns. The platform facilitates one-to-one and group chats, live streams, the collection and promotion of user generated content and provides detailed reporting and insights for institutions. Tennealle O’Shannessy, Chief Executive Officer, IDP Education, said: “We are thrilled to welcome The Ambassador Platform to the IDP Education family. This acquisition will enhance our ability to deliver personalised and authentic experiences to our students and help them make informed decisions about their study abroad journey. The Ambassador Platform’s technology will enable us to connect our students with their peers from around the world and provide them with valuable insights and support. We look forward to working with The Ambassador Platform team and leveraging their expertise and innovation.”

Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Digimental Studio Ltd by Vertex Labs LLC; Digital Projection International Ltd by Delta International Holding Ltd BV; Lumin Wealth Management Ltd by VZ Holding AG; and Premier Technical Services Group Ltd by Warburg Pincus LLC.

The engineering sector proved to be particularly busy during this trading period with several deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include Contamac Holdings Ltd by Haohai Healthcare Holdings (BVI Co., Ltd; Ball & Berry Limited by Sweco AB; and Feritech Global Ltd by Addtech Nordic AB.

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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