Mergers and Acquisitions in September 2019

According to statistics on Zephyr, September has been a busy month in terms of M&A activity. With a 12% increase in deal activity in comparison to August, this month has resulted in 138 transactions taking place. Of these deals, 38 involved an overseas acquirer which is also a 15% increase compared to the previous month.

The largest transaction involved the acquisition of Electric North West Ltd by The Kansai Electric Power Co for a significant deal value of £2 billion. Hiroshi Nakajima, Managing Executive Officer, International Business and Cooperation Division, Kansai Electric Power Company, commented: “This is the first case of Japanese electric utility companies entering into an overseas major electricity distribution network operator business. We aim to develop a long term and strategic collaboration with Electricity North West to create solutions to proactively address the current challenges to distribution networks which include smart cities, electric vehicles and virtual power.”

Other large sum transactions of the month include: Chevron North Sea Ltd acquired by Ithaca Energy Ltd for the sum of £1.3 billion; Reunited Target Newco Ltd acquired by JPJ Group plc for the amount of £490 million; Akazoo Ltd acquired by Unlimited Music for a deal value of £308 million.  

Industry sector such as IT, computing, and software development have also been active through the following successful deals: Sanderson Group plc acquired by Aptean Ltd; Travelogix Ltd by management buyout; NetEDI Ltd acquired by Cegedim SA; Innervision Management acquired by IRIS Software Group Ltd; iPresent Ltd acquired by Mediafly Inc.; Volo Commerce Ltd acquired by Fog Software Group; and Tripleplay Services Ltd acquired by Uniguest of Tennessee Inc.

An established casino games developer, NetEnt agreed to its first acquisition in its history through a deal to acquire slot specialist Red Tiger Gaming in transaction value worth over £220 million. NetEnt Chief Executive Tehrese Hillman commented, “I am very pleased to welcome Red Tiger into the NetEnt Group. The acquisition combines two of the leading and most innovative companies in the online gaming industry. We look forward to working with Red Tiger’s fantastic team to enhance our combined global reach and to offer further value to operators and players. The transaction will provide significant revenue synergies across our markets worldwide”.

Other overseas acquirer transactions include: the acquisition of The Bay Group by Greencore Group plc; Acro Aircraft Seating Ltd by Zheijang Science and Technology Investment Company; Dungannon Meats by Dawn Meats Group Unlimited Company; and GMS Entertainment Ltd by Aspire Global plc.

To conclude, this months’ M&A activity has taken place in a diverse range of sectors, with significant deals contributing to September’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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