Highlights

Despite a fall in deal volumes for Q3, the UK market has been propped up by international private equity firms taking advantage of the fall in sterling to acquire UK assets at a comparatively reduced cost. UK focused private equity firms, with substantial dry powder at their fingertips, are using the flexibility within their fund docs to invest into new regions such as Benelux, France and the US. There has also been an uptick in take-private deals with private equity funds working hard to unlock undervalued businesses within large corporate groups.

So, whilst it is apparent that the UK mid-market has been busy this quarter, calls for another referendum, demands for a general election and even attempts to block parliament, have done little to ease the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. So, despite mid-market activity outside of London, particularly in the South and North West, being more resilient to Brexit woes, Q3 of 2019 has seen a decline in deals across almost all sectors of the UK mid-market, most markedly in the Consumer, Leisure and Retail sectors. Year to date transactions in both Services and Industrials are down compared to this quarter last year, whilst TMT deal levels have remained robust.

Consumer, Leisure and Retail:

  • The management team of the UK-based corporate apparel business, Tailored Brands, has acquired the business in a management buyout transaction backed by LDC, for a consideration of £51m

Healthcare:

  • Permira Advisers has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Quotient Sciences, the UK-based pharmaceutical company engaged in drug development and support to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, from GHO Capital Partners, for an undisclosed consideration

Industrial Products & Services:

  • Equistone Partners has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Bulgin, a global manufacturer of sealed high-performance engineered solutions for harsh-environment applications, as a carve-out from Elektron Technology, for a consideration of £105m. DC Advisory advised Equistone Partners, see more >

Services:

  • Equistone Partners has agreed to acquire Moody’s Analytic’s Knowledge Services, the UK-based knowledge process outsourcing business, from Moody’s Analytics for an undisclosed consideration. DC Advisory advised Equistone Partners, see more >
  • Epiris and Chamonix Private Equity sell FirstPort, the UK-based company providing residential property consulting and management services, to Equistone, for an undisclosed consideration. DC Advisory advised Epiris and Chamonix Private Equity, see more >
  • Graphite Capital has acquired a majority stake in Hanson Wade, the UK-based conference organiser and provider of information services, for an estimated consideration of £96m
  • Montagu has agreed to acquire Jane’s Information Group, a UK-based defence sector publishing group, from IHS Markit, for a consideration of $470m
  • Waterland has acquired Cawood Scientific, the UK-based provider of analytical laboratory testing services, from Inflexion, for an undisclosed consideration
  • Inflexion has acquired O’Neill Patient Solicitors, the UK-based business-to-business tech enabled provider of property re-mortgage conveyancing services, for an undisclosed consideration

TMT:

  • LDC has acquired Plimsoll Productions, the UK-based TV production company, for an enterprise value of £80m
  • Marlin Equity has acquired Fourth Limited, the UK-based provider of cloud-based cost control solutions to the hospitality industry, from Insight Venture Partners, for an undisclosed consideration
  • LDC has acquired an undisclosed stake in Onecom, the UK-based provider of fixed-line telephone, broadband and cloud hosting services, for an undisclosed consideration