Mergers and Acquisitions in September 2020

According to business intelligence experts, Bureau Van Dijk, September proved to be another busy month in terms of M&A activity as an impressive 121 deals involving UK targets were recorded during this period. In comparison to August, overseas acquirers also increased by 55%.

The largest transaction for September was the £675 million acquisition of KaNDy Therapeutics Ltd by Bayer AG. Bayer is a global organisation with core operations in the life sciences sector of health and nutrition. The company’s products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Dr. Sebastian Guth, Bayer’s President of Pharmaceuticals, Americas Region, commented on the deal: “We are pleased to receive antitrust clearance and to officially close on the KaNDy Therapeutics Ltd acquisition. This acquisition is another testament to our commitment to the health of women which not only broadens our pipeline, but has the potential, if approved, to deliver a new treatment option that could have a meaningful impact on women’s lives.”

Another impressive deal recorded this month was for the acquisition of Legal & General Group plc’s mature savings business by ReAssure Ltd for the value of £650 million. ReAssure’s core business is acquiring and administering closed portfolios of insurance business and are therefore experienced in managing this type of business and are well suited to take over Legal & General. ReAssure were chosen to carry forward the business, allowing Legal & General to shift their focus on growing their business in other areas.

A number of overseas transactions took place this reporting period which included the acquisition of Avon Polymer Products Ltd by Tetra Laval International SA for £168 million; Al Shaheen Energy Services Ltd by Milaha Capital WLL for £140 million; AGTA Record AG’s Austrian Operations by FAAC Spa for £91 million; HWSI Realisation Fund Ltd by Cubitt Trade Holdings LLC for £80 million; Portfolio of 11 new-build logistics building in the UK by Episo 5 (GP) Sarl for £68 million; and Transforming Systems Ltd by VitalHub Corporation for £6 million.

Other overseas deals that took place in September include the acquisitions of: Altfi Data Ltd by LoanClear BV; GSK Consumer Healthcare’s seven brands by Foundation Consumer Healthcare LLC; vivaMOS Ltd by Nordson Corporation; Solo Containment Ltd by ILC Dover Inc.; LSS Waste Management Ltd by Beauparc Utilities Holdings Ltd; Catalyst Computer Systems Ltd by Perseus Operating Group; and UK Gas Technologies by Indutrade AB.

Smith & Williamson Holdings Ltd was acquired by Tilney Group Ltd for a total value of £625 million. The combined group which will be named Tilney Smith & Williamson, will be valued at around £1.8 billion. Tilney Chief Executive, Chris Woodhouse, comment on the deal and said, “The merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson presents a compelling combination and together we will look to build on the considerable and complementary strengths of both firms.”

The utilities and energy sectors were particularly active with a number of deals taking place. RockRose Energy plc was acquired by Viaro Energy Ltd; Northern Hydropower Holdings Ltd was acquired by JLEN Environmental Assets Group Ltd; Building Energy Management Service Ltd Arcus FM Ltd; Flexitricity Ltd was acquired by Reserve Power Holdings (Jersey) Ltd; and Pale Blue Dot Energy Ltd was acquired by Storegga Geotechnologies Ltd.

In summary, September’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 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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