Mergers and Acquisitions in November 2020

According to business intelligence experts, Bureau Van Dijk, November proved to be another busy month in terms of M&A activity as an impressive 119 deals involving UK targets were recorded during this period, along with 30 overseas acquirers.

The largest transactions of the month was the £1.1 billion acquisition of Hastings Group Holdings plc by Dorset Bidco Ltd. Commenting on the offer, Thomas Colraine, Chairman of Hastings, said, “I am pleased to announce the recommended cash offer for Hastings which represents a very attractive proposition for Hastings shareholders with a significant premium in cash. This is in line with our focus of generating value for shareholders and reflects the quality of our business. Hastings has grown its IPO in 2015 and is a leading motor insurer in the UK as well as having diversified into other products such as home insurance. Hastings is an agile and digitally focused player and together with the strengths of Sampo and RMI, I am confident the business will be well positioned in the future to ensure enhanced outcomes for our colleagues, customers and stakeholders.”

Another significant deal recorded this month was the acquisition of SDL plc by RWS Holdings plc for £854 million. RWS Holdings is publicly listed on AIM, the London Stock Exchange regulated market, with offices across five continents. Prior to its acquisition of SDL, RWS had strong industry positions in three growing markets: IP Services, Life Sciences and Moravia. Richard Thompson, CEO of RWS, commented, “This is an exciting time of our joint customer base. The creation of world’s leading language services and technology group allows us to provide a broader and enhanced offering to an expanded client audience. The combined company will have technology at its heart, underpinned with specialist capabilities, quality and an unwavering commitment to customer service. We look forward to working with our value customers to continue to enhance the way we serve their needs.”

Other deals for November include the acquisition of OneWeb Global Ltd by Hughes Network Systems LLC for £754 million; Perpetual Income & Growth Investment Trust pls’s Assets by Murray Income Trust plc for £427 million; Foxes Biscuits Ltd’s branded and biscuit business by Gruppo Ferrero SpA for £246 million; Interserve (Facilities Management) Ltd by MITIE Group plc for £190 million; and Hovis Holdings Ltd by Endless Fund IV for £75 million.

Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Theros Pharma Ltd by Wayland Group for £27 million; Quadralene Ltd by Getinge AB for £19 million; CDF Group Ltd by Wayside Technology Group Inc. for £13 million; Sirakoss Ltd by OssDsign AB for £8 million; Specialist Castings Ltd by Zheijiang Yuxi Corrosion Control Corporation; Wadhwani Asset Management LLP by Quantitative Management Associates LLC; and Optimum Group Services Ltd by BGIS Global Integrated Solutions Canada LP.

Leicester Tissue Company Ltd was acquired by Accrol Group Holdings plc for a total value of £41 million. Ayaz Tejani, Managing Director of Leicester Tissue Company said, “The BDO team gained a strong understanding of our business in a timely manner and particularly against the Covid-19 backdrop. Their data analytics and commercial insight presented in their vendor due diligence report was an excellent representation of our business performance. I found that their value-added proposition and proposed time/commitment to be invested in supporting us on our sale process to be key differentiators on their appointment. The BDO team met these expectations, we enjoyed working with them on our transaction and I would certainly recommend them to anyone looking to sell their business.”

The insurance sector was particularly active this month with a number of deals taking place. Clarkson Wayman Ball Ltd was acquired by Radiant Financial Group Holdco Ltd; RIB Group Ltd was acquire by Marshall Wooldridge Ltd; and J M Glendinning (Insurance Brokers) Ltd was acquired by the MBO team.

In summary, November’s M&A activity has taken place in a number of different sectors, with significant deals contributing to this month’s overall figure. With active public trade buyers as well as private equity investors, the UK continues to appeal to acquirers from both the UK and overseas.  Our team is highly experienced and can assist you in realising the value of your company. Whether you are considering exit strategy options or exploring another avenue, you can call our team in confidence on 0203 441 2003. Alternatively, you can use our free, online valuation calculator to determine the value of your company.