Key highlights from the period include:

  • Q4 2018 was extremely active, with investors pushing to close transactions before the Christmas break. Not only was the total number of buyout deals completed in Q4 2018 56% higher than the same quarter last year, activity levels for the quarter also reached a ten-year high
  • During 2018, the most notable trend was the sharp rise in primary buyout deals, with 140 deals completed in FY 2018 (+82%) compared to 77 in FY 2017. This can be attributed to the deliberate private company origination strategies by investors that appeared to pay-off
  • Q4 2018 saw twice as many exits to secondary buyouts versus trade, indicating a continued strong appetite from private equity houses for UK mid-market assets and their ability to outmanoeuvre less agile trade acquirers
  • Business services, industrial products & services and TMT  had a high performing 2018 in the lead up to Brexit, with deal activity in each of the sectors significantly surpassing their levels over the past four years. Unsurprisingly, given declining consumer confidence and continued high street woes, the leisure, retail & consumer sector was relatively quiet, whilst investment in the healthcare sector remained steady
  • The continued ability for funds to raise cash in this environment indicates that LP’s remain positive about the outlook of both UK and European opportunities; the key question for 2019 is how these investors can deploy their capital in more resilient assets, without being forced to overpay
  • Looking ahead, the macro-Brexit uncertainty and a constantly changing political environment „will inevitably lead to lower levels of activity“ in H1 2019, said Richard Madden, UK CEO of DC Advisory, who recently spoke with Private Equity News. Madden continued to comment on the pre-Brexit landscape, „the best-case scenario would unquestionably be a new vote to remain in the EU. The next best scenario is a swift and definitive agreement, which eliminates the volatility.“

Total UK mid-market buyout activity

2015 – 2018 total UK mid-market buyout deals by sector

2015 – 2018 total UK mid-market buyout deals by source and exit

Who’s been fundraising?

October

Carlyle held a second close of Carlyle Europe Partners V, at €5,000m
Epiris held a final close of Epiris Fund II, at £821m
Hg held a final close of Hg Saturn, at £1,500m
Horizon Capital held a final close of Horizon 2018, at £200m
TPG held a first close of TPG Tech Adjacencies, at US$1,500m
Vista Equity Partners held a first close of Vista Equity Partners Fund VII, at US$16,000m

November

NVM Private Equity held a final close of NVM Private Equity Vintage III, at £142m

December

Carlyle held a first close of Carlyle Alternative Opportunities Fund (undisclosed amount)
Investcorp held a final close of Investcorp Technology Partners IV, at US$400m
Mid Europa Partners held a first close of Mid Europa Fund V, at €800m
Motion Equity Partners held a first close of Motion Equity Partners Fund III, at €150m
Providence Equity Partners held a second close of Providence Equity Partners VIII, at US$5,000m
TPG held a first close of TPG Partners VIII, at US$14,000m
Triton Partners held a final close of Triton Fund VI, at €5,000m

 

See our latest M&A and debt advisory transactions >

Recent transactions by sector

Healthcare
Industrial Products & Services
Leisure, Retail & Consumer
Services
TMT

Healthcare

Blatchford

CBPE Capital acquired Blatchford, the prosthetics and orthotics supplier, for an undisclosed consideration

Core Assets Fostering

CapVest Partners acquired Core Assets Fostering, the company engaged in providing foster care services, for an undisclosed consideration

European LifeCare

Inflexion Private Equity acquired European LifeCare, Europe’s largest provider of vaccinations, for an undisclosed consideration

Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging

August Equity acquired Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging, the specialist in advanced diagnostics for equine and companion animals, for an undisclosed consideration

Lynwood School of Veterinary Nursing

BC Partners‘ portfolio company VetPartners acquired Lynwood School of Veterinary Nursing, the veterinary school and animal practice, for an undisclosed consideration

Poshchair Medical

NorthEdge Capital’s portfolio company Direct Healthcare Group acquired Poshchair Medical, the provider of rental services for bariatric equipment, seating, beds and lifting solutions, for an undisclosed consideration

Prism UK Medical

Limerston Capital acquired Prism UK Medical, the manufacturer and provider of specialist healthcare equipment, from LDC, for an undisclosed consideration

Industrial products & services

Arnold Laver & Company

Cairngorm Capital Partners acquired Arnold Laver & Company, the company that imports, distributes and manufactures a wide range of timber, panels, decorative surfaces and joinery products, for an undisclosed consideration

Barber of Sheffield

RJD Partners sold its portfolio company Barber of Sheffield, the company that manufactures and markets specialised stainless steel surgical needles, to Nexus Brands, for an undisclosed consideration

Bluegrasscoms

Providence Equity Partners‘ portfolio company OEConnection acquired Bluegrasscoms, the automotive business consultancy and service provider focused on the collision and aftersales market segments, for an undisclosed consideration

BWA Water Additives

Bain Capital’s portfolio company Italmatch Chemicals acquired BWA Water Additives, the chemicals company specialising in water treatment technologies, for an undisclosed consideration

CET Structures

Palatine Private Equity acquired CET Structures, the provider of specialist outsourced services to the infrastructure, civil engineering, construction, property and insurance sectors, from Dunedin Capital Partners, for an undisclosed consideration

Cookstown Textile Recyclers; Nathan’s Wastesavers

Waterland Private Equity’s portfolio company Textile Recycling acquired Cookstown Textile Recyclers, the textile recycling company, and Nathan’s Wastesavers, the textile recycling company engaged in sorting, grading and processing of textile material, for an undisclosed consideration

Cosan Lubes Investments

CVC Capital Partners acquired a stake in Cosan Lubes Investments, the company engaged in manufacturing of mobil-branded specialty lubricants, for a consideration of £89m

Deep Sea Electronics

Caledonia Investments acquired Deep Sea Electronics, the company that designs and manufactures engine and generator control modules and accessories, for a consideration of £162m

EnerMech

The Carlyle Group acquired EnerMech, the company engaged in providing mechanical engineering services to the energy services sector, from Lime Rock Partners, for a consideration of £450m

FoundOcean

Ambienta sold its portfolio company FoundOcean, the provider of subsea and offshore cementing services for the global energy construction industries, to CAPE Investment Partners, for an undisclosed consideration

Gritit

Total Capital Partners acquired Gritit, the winter services and grounds maintenance company that provides gritting and snow clearance services to commercial properties, for an undisclosed consideration

Helix Tool Company

Cairngorm Capital Partners acquired Helix Tool Company, the full-service maintenance, repair, and overhaul distribution business providing engineering components and services to clients, for an undisclosed consideration

Indigo Pipelines

Scottish Equity Partners sold its portfolio company Indigo Pipelines, the company engaged in providing gas transportation services, to Arjun Infrastructure Partners, for an undisclosed consideration

Pirtek

PNC Riverarch Capital acquired Pirtek, the industrial services company that provides emergency, on-site replacement of hydraulic hoses, from The Halifax Group, for an undisclosed consideration

Prime Light Electrical

Bay Tree Private Equity acquired Prime Light Electrical, the company that sells and distributes lighting, electrical, and electronic components to the lighting industry, for an undisclosed consideration

Ridgeons

Inflexion Private Equity Partners‘ portfolio company Huws Gray acquired Ridgeons, the company engaged in distributing building materials, timber services, plumbing, kitchens, and bathroom products, for an undisclosed consideration

Total Rail Solutions

Rutland Partners acquired Total Rail Solutions, the provider of operated and non-operated road-rail plant, sub-contracting services and labour to rail sites, for an undisclosed consideration. Rutland Partners was advised by DC Advisory, see more >

Troika Systems

Fresh Equity acquired Troika Systems, the designer and developer of quality control 3D anaylsis management systems for the print industry, for an undisclosed consideration

Valpak

EMK’s portfolio company Reconomy acquired Valpak, the company engaged in providing environmental compliance, recycling, and sustainability solutions to organisations, for an undisclosed consideration

Leisure, retail & consumer

Bowland Fell Holiday Park

Phoenix Equity Partners‘ portfolio company Bridge Leisure Parks acquired Bowland Fell Holiday Park, a holiday park operator in Yorkshire, for an undisclosed consideration

British Waterways Marinas

LDC acquired British Waterways Marinas, the UK’s largest operator of inland marinas, for an undisclosed consideration. LDC was advised by DC Advisory, see more >

Gill

YFM Equity Partners sold its portfolio company Gill, the British performance apparel brand, to the Myers Family Office, for an undisclosed consideration

Mangar International

YFM Equity Partners sold its portfolio company Mangar International, the company that designs, manufactures and supplies inflatable bathing equipment, to a portfolio company of Groupe IDI, for an undisclosed consideration

Montezuma’s Direct

Inverleith acquired Montezuma’s Direct, the manufacturer of premium artisanal chocolate, for an undisclosed consideration

Premier Rugby

CVC Capital Partners acquired a stake in Premier Rugby, the UK-based rugby union competition, for a consideration of £200m

Seabrook Crisp

LDC sold its portfolio company Seabrook Crisp, the producer and supplier of potato crisps, to Calbee, for an undisclosed consideration

Shuttercraft

Beechbrook Capital acquired Shuttercraft, the distributor of own brand shutters, for an undisclosed consideration

Vivid Toy Group

Privet Capital sold its portfolio company Vivid Toy Group, the manufacturer of toys, games, arts and crafts, to Goliath Games, for an undisclosed consideration

Wagamama

Duke Street sold its portfolio company Wagamama, the chain of noodle bar restaurants, to The Restaurant Group, for a consideration of £357m

Services

Acton Banks

Maven Capital Partners acquired Acton Banks, the company providing healthcare staffing services, for an undisclosed consideration

Alliance in Partnership

Key Capital Partners sold its portfolio company Alliance in Partnership, the company engaged in providing catering services to schools, to Sodexo, for an undisclosed consideration

Amberon

H2 Equity Partners acquired Amberon, the provider of traffic management services, from LDC, for an undisclosed consideration

Atlas Knowledge

HgCapital sold its portfolio company Atlas Knowledge, the provider of health, safety, environmental and other regulatory and technical compliance services, to a portfolio company of The Riverside Company, for an undisclosed consideration

CER Staffing Solutions

Endless sold its portfolio company CER Staffing Solutions, the company engaged in providing public sector recruitment services across education, healthcare, to Castlerock Recruitment Group, for an undisclosed consideration

Content and Code

ECI Partners‘ portfolio company IT Lab acquired Content and Code, the company providing Microsoft consultancy services, for an undisclosed consideration

Cross Rental Services

Lonsdale Capital Partners acquired Cross Rental Services, the provider of rental services to retail and commercial customers, for an undisclosed consideration

HB Education

Midlothian Capital Partners acquired HB Education, the provider of residential outdoor education and adventure trips for school children, for a consideration of £467m

Henlow Recruitment Group

Graphite Capital’s portfolio company nGAGE Specialist Recruitment acquired Henlow Recruitment Group, the QuantTech recruitment company, for an undisclosed consideration

Ikon Science

Great Hill Partners acquired Ikon Science, the provider of software technology and consulting services to the upstream oil and gas sector, from FPE Capital, for an undisclosed consideration

Knight Square

Lexington Partners acquired a stake in Knight Square, the company engaged in property management, installation and maintenance of communication and security systems, from Electra Private Equity, for a consideration of £21m

Lumesse

HgCapital sold its portfolio company Lumesse, the software provider that designs and delivers talent management software solutions for customers, to a portfolio company of Vector Capital, for an undisclosed consideration

M.J. Quinn Integrated Services

Palatine Private Equity sold its portfolio company M. J. Quinn Integrated Services, the provider of design, installation and maintenance of telecoms, mechanical, electrical, fire detection and suppression systems, to Constructel France, for a consideration of €35m

Moneypenny

ECI Partners acquired Moneypenny, the telephone answering specialist, for an undisclosed consideration

National Industrial Fuel Efficiency Service

Hoizon Capital’s portfolio company Bellrock Property & Facilities Management acquired National Industrial Fuel Efficiency Service, the provider of engineering, property and energy consultancy, for an undisclosed consideration

PMC Treasury

Inflexion Private Equity Partners acquired PMC Treasury, the provider of treasury and risk management solutions, for an undisclosed consideration

S H Landes

Dunedin Capital Partners‘ portfolio company Hawksford Trust Company acquired S H Landes, the company providing auditing services, for an undisclosed consideration

Send For Help

ECI Partners acquired Send For Help, the lone worker protection provider, for an undisclosed consideration

Servelec Controls

Alcuin Capital Partners acquired Servelec Controls, the supplier of integrity-based information solutions, process control and management services, for an undisclosed consideration

Symphony Ventures

Livingbridge sold its portfolio company Symphony Ventures, the company engaged in providing consulting, implementation and managed services to enterprise clients, to Sykes Enterprises, for a consideration of £52m

TMT

Adam Phones

Inflexion Private Equity Partners‘ portfolio company Radius Payment Solutions acquired Adam Phones, the mobile and fixed-line communications provider, for an undisclosed consideration

Arden Group

LDC’s portfolio company Babble Cloud has acquired Arden Group, the IT and telecoms services company, for an undisclosed consideration

BCN Group

Beech Tree Private Equity acquired BCN Group, the IT managed services provider, for an undisclosed consideration

Charterhouse Voice & Data

August Equity acquired Charterhouse Voice & Data, the provider of voice communication, data, hosting and cyber security services, for an undisclosed consideration

CloserStill

Providence Equity Partners acquired CloserStill, the organiser of business-to-business exhibitions, from Inflexion Private Equity Partners and NVM Private Equity, for an undisclosed consideration. CloserStill was advised by DC Advisory, see more >

Communisis

Aquiline Capital Partners‘ portfolio company Output Services Group acquired Communisis, the company engaged in printing, direct marketing, internet communications and data management, for a consideration of £149m

Esteem Systems

Primary Capital Partners sold its portfolio company Esteem Systems, the provider of IT infrastructure services and solutions, to ROC Technologies, for an undisclosed consideration

Exterion Media

Platinum Equity sold its portfolio company Exterion Media, the outdoor media company engaged in providing custom media solutions to outdoor advertising agencies, to Global Radio UK, for a consideration of £400m

Feefo

Vespa Capital acquired Feefo, the SaaS consumer ratings and reviews platform, for an undisclosed consideration

Indigo Telecom

Growth Capital Partners acquired Indigo Telecom, the company that designs, plans, builds, supplies, manages and maintains telecommunications networks, from Maven Capital Partners and YFM Equity Partners, for an undisclosed consideration

Ink

Endless sold its portfolio company Ink, the producer of in-flight digital and print media, and targeted advertising, to The Stagwell Group, for an undisclosed consideration

Miles 33

Ethos Partners acquired Miles 33, the provider of software to the publishing and financial services sectors, for an undisclosed consideration

Mycom

Inflexion Private Equity Partners acquired Mycom, the company engaged in providing OSS Service Assurance software solutions and ICT engineering services to the telecoms industry, from Clearlake Capital, for an undisclosed consideration

Open Health Communications

Amulet Capital Partners acquired Open Health Communications, the company that offers healthcare communications and market access services, for an undisclosed consideration

Photobox

Lexington Partners acquired a stake in PhotoBox, the provider of digital photo services, from Electra Private Equity, for a consideration of £98m

RTLS SmartSpace

Investcorp Technology Partners acquired the RTLS SmartSpace business of Ubisense Group, the company that delivers mission-critical enterprise asset tracking and geospatial systems, for a consideration of £35m

TES Global

Providence Equity Partners acquired TES Global, the digital education company, from TPG Capital, for an undisclosed consideration

The National Exhibition Centre

Blackstone acquired The National Exhibition Centre, the venue management company that operates venues for conferences, entertainment, exhibitions, live music and sports events, from LDC, for a consideration of £800m

Ticketer

Tenzing Private Equity acquired Ticketer, the smart bus ticketing technology provider, for an undisclosed consideration

TotallyMoney

Scottish Equity Partners, along with Elliott Advisors (UK), acquired a stake in TotallyMoney, the credit score and report firm, for a consideration of £29m

UKFast

Inflexion Private Equity Partners acquired a stake in UKFast, the web hosting company, for a consideration of £122m

We Are Discounts

Bridgepoint acquired We Are Discounts, the provider of NHS Discounts and NHS staff benefits, for an undisclosed consideration

Western Business Exhibitions

Phoenix Equity Partners‘ portfolio company Nineteen Group acquired Western Business Exhibitions, the company that conducts trade exhibitions, for an undisclosed consideration

 

DC Contacts
Financial Sponsor Coverage Contacts

 

Andrew Strudwick
Managing Director
London
T: 020 7856 0968
E: andrew.strudwick@dcadvisory.com
View biography

Richard Pulford
Managing Director
Manchester
T: 0161 362 6800
E: richard.pulford@dcadvisory.com
View biography

Susie Meier
Associate
London
T: 020 7856 0939
E: susie.meier@dcadvisory.com

 

Companies highlighted in bold represent the private equity firm(s) involved in the transaction, and companies highlighted in italics represent the asset being bought or sold. All transactions profiled have been sourced using Mergermarket, 2019.