2017 has been an exceptional year for UK M&A, with deal volumes remaining high across most industry sectors and final deal values surpassing expectations. The strong level of activity continued throughout the month of August, with 151 deals completed generating combined, disclosed values of over £13.7bn, according to company deals database, Zephyr.
August saw Aberdeen Asset Management plc, Europe’s second largest listed fund manager, acquired by Standard Life plc. The £3.7bn deal with Standard Life, a global investment company, saw Aberdeen Asset Management list on the London Stock Exchange and become a subsidiary of the renamed Standard Life Aberdeen.
XBridge Ltd, trading as Simply Business, was also acquired during the month of August. Simply Business, the UK’s largest online business insurance broker, was purchased by The Travelers Companies Inc. for over £375m. The Travelers Companies, an American insurance firm, sought to acquire Simply Business as a means of securing a position in the digital, ‘insuretech’ space. The deal will help Simply Business to expand beyond its UK base.
Another particularly notable deal completed last month involved the £200m acquisition of Jac Travel Ltd, a UK supplier of hotel accommodation to the global travel industry. The business was acquired by Webjet Ltd, a travel booking website offering flights, hotels, holiday packages, cruises and much more. With organisations in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Singapore and Hong Kong, Webjet’s acquisition of Jac Travel allows the firm to expand into Europe.
With almost 40 rumoured deals in the pipeline, the outlook for the coming months remains positive, and the UK M&A landscape looks set to experience further success.
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