According to Business Intelligence Bureau Van Dijk, October proved to be a busy trading period with 204 transactions recorded for the month. Overseas acquirers were also active during this time with a recording of 62 deals.
The largest transaction for the month was the £879 million acquisition of Forterro UK Ltd by Partners Group AG. Founded in 2012, Forterro employs more than 1,200 employees who work from over 40 office locations around the world to support specialised software solutions and more than 10,000 manufacturers. Dean Forbes, CEO of Forterro, commented, “Over the past year, we have spent a great deal of time developing strategies for growth and investing in the people and infrastructure we need to achieve a brand-new vision – something we call ‘Forterro 3.0’. The final piece of the puzzle was partnering with an investor that would share this vision with us, and Partners Group is the right partner for us”.
Another significant deal recorded in October was the £400 million acquisition of Amey plc by Buckthorn Partners LLP. Amey is a leading supplier to the UK government and public sector with over 100 years of experience in innovative design and infrastructure management, maintenance, and upgrade, with core expertise in consulting and transport and built infrastructure management. The company has over 11,000 employees across 200 locations in the UK. Buckthorn will partner in this transaction with One Equity Partners, a middle market private equity firm focussed on the industrial, healthcare, and technology sectors in North American and Europe. The partnership will see both firms investing in Amey to strengthen and grow the business and access to access new opportunities, particularly in energy transition, where Amey is particularly well-placed to support the UK’s net zero ambitions. Nicholas Gee, Founding Partner at Buckthorn Partners, said, “We are delighted to acquire a business with market leading capability in managing critical infrastructure and look forward to building on this capability on Amey’s positive work in social value and infrastructure.”
Other higher value deals for this month include the acquisition of Coatis by Adfactors PR Pvt Ltd for £267 million; NoteMachine Holdings Ltd by The Brink’s Company for £160 million; R&F Properties VS (UK) Co., Ltd by Big Brilliance Ltd for £106 million; and Briar Chemicals Ltd by Safex Chemicals (India) Ltd for £73 million.
Rural Broadband Solutions Holdings Ltd (RBBS) was acquired by Tiger Infrastructure Partners Fund III LP for £75 million. Tiger Infrastructure Partners is a leading middle market investor focused on providing transformational growth capital to enable the infrastructure of tomorrow. RBBS provides fixed wireless access and full fibre broadband to communities in Shropshire, through the internet service provider brand SWS. Christopher New, CEO of RBBS, added, “We were seeking a financial partner who shared our vision to deploy full fibre to our communities. We believe Tiger Infrastructure is a like-minded investor whose expertise and capital will assist us in making RRBS a leader in our niche. With Tiger Infrastructure’s investment, RBBS is well-positioned to help communities in Shropshire and Wales solve the immediate and growing requirement for reliable, giga-bit capable connectivity”.
Some of the overseas deals that took place during this reporting period include the acquisition of Ipsilon SAS by Waterland Private Equity Investments BV; 100 MW solar portfolio in Italy by ADRIAN Clean Energy Evergreen Fund SCA SICAV-RAIF; Sidley Austin LLP by Studio Bava; Skewbald by Tourism Holdings Ltd.
The building and construction sector proved to be particularly busy during this trading period with several deals taking place. Some of these acquisitions include etag Fixings Ltd by Management; Keystone Environmental Ltd by Origin Enterprises plc; Wiltshire Heavy Building Materials Ltd by Holcim AG; and Impact Data Solutions Ltd by Hexatronic Group AB.
To conclude, M&A activity in October 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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