Mergers and Acquisitions in November 2019

Approaching the end of the year, November rounded up a notable figure of 104 deals, of which included 24 overseas acquirers.

The largest deal value for the month involved the acquisition of Merlin Entertainments, a leading visitor attraction operator, by Motion Acquisition Ltd for a deal value of £4.1 billion.

Other high value deals for November include the acquisition of BCA Marketplace plc by BBD Bidco Ltd for £1.9 billion; Chevron North Sea Ltd by Ithaca Energy Ltd for £1.5 billion; The Unite Group plc acquisition of Liberty Living Group plc for £1.4 billion; and Hobbs Ltd, a designer and retailer of clothing, footwear and leather goods, was acquired by TFG Brands (London) Ltd for a deal value of £80 million.

Credit Suisse AGS data centre in London was acquired by Iron Mountain Inc for £77 million. Iron Mountain President and CEO William L. Meaney said, “With these acquisitions, we are continuing to expand our global data centre capabilities. The demand form and growth in, our data centre offerings have been consistent and strong, drawing customers in highly regulated industries.”

Miton Group plc was acquired by Premier Asset Management Group plc in a transaction value worth £70 million. David Barron, Miton’s chief executive said “the groups actively managed, differentiated high conviction funds were a very strong complement to Premier’s position in multi-asset strategies. With limited overlap between the two businesses, this merger will result in the ability to offer our clients a broader and more compelling range of investment solutions.” Premier’s CEO, Mike O’Shea added that, “the newly combined group would create a firm with greater scale and financial strength to invest for future growth, with broader and deeper investment capabilities.”

A diverse range of industry sectors have contributed towards this month’s M&A figure. From the advertising sector, The Corner Communications (London) Ltd was acquired by Be Heard Group plc for over £12 million; Dakeyne Emms Gilmore Liberson Ltd, which are solicitors, have been acquired by Knights Group Holdings Ltd for a deal value worth £4.7 million; and within the business and software development sector, Obsidian Solutions Ltd was acquired by Alpha Financial Markets Consulting plc for £5.7 million.

Leading provider of gas and renewable energy, Hudson Energy Supply UK Ltd, was acquired by Shell Energy Retail Ltd, in a deal worth £10.5 million. Hudson supplies gas and renewable energy to 200,000 UK residents as well as providing to 2,000 commercial customers. Shell Energy Retail chief executive Colin Crooks added, “As part of our ambition to build a significant UK retail energy business, this deal will take the number of Shell Energy Retail’s UK residential customers to just under one million and adds to Shell’s presence in the B2B market.”

Some of the overseas acquirers during November include: Winbro Group UK Ltd by Quaser Machine Tools Inc. for £77 million; Genesys Holdings Ltd by H2O Innovation Inc. for £16 million; Carroll Insurance Group Ltd by PSC Insurance Group Ltd for £3.4 million; and Silclear Ltd by Skellerup Holdings Ltd for £3.3 million.

In summary, this months’ M&A activity has taken place in a varied range of sectors, with significant deals contributing to this month’s overall figure. With active public trader buyers as well as private equity investors, the UK continues to appeal to acquirers from both the UK and overseas. 

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