BDO North completes 60 deals in 2021, as UK transactions top £46 billion

Jason Whitworth

BDO LLP has advised on 60 corporate finance deals across the North in 2021, with the firm completing more than 400 corporate finance deals nationwide last year totalling £46 billion in value.

Transactions which involved private equity accounted for over 60 per cent of the deals completed, as the region continued to rebound following the disruption of 2020.

Deals spanned a wide range of sectors, with notable market activity in technology & media, real estate, manufacturing & engineering, and healthcare & education. In particular, the firm advised on four completions in four months in the logistics sector.

The long list of deals, which also involved five deals completed in ten weeks for the Leeds M&A team, included the sale of logistics firm, Cygnia to Wincanton plc; the sale of portable building manufacturer, the Thurston Group to private industrial investment group, The HLD Group of Companies; the sale of drainage industry experts Jet Aire to Adler & Allan, backed by Sun Capital Partners; the sale of luxury books specialist Kingsbury Press Holdings to Bluetree Design and Print; and the investment in Leeds-based thebigword Group – a global language technology company – by US-based equity investor, Susquehanna Private Capital. 

In the listed space, BDO continued to be the leading reporting accountant for IPOs having acted on 25 in 2021, including the AIM IPOs of LBG Media Group (LADbible), DSW Capital, In The Style and Eneraqua.

Jason Whitworth, M&A partner at BDO LLP in Leeds, said: “The regional marketplace has remained very much open for business in 2021, as highly scaleable businesses have continued to pull on the purse strings of eager investors, with private equity funds, in particular, confidently investing significant funds into exciting and fast-growth sectors. 

“With a strong deals pipeline across the firm for 2022, there’s little sign of market activity dying down, or investor appetite waning any time soon. For ambitious businesses, this presents a perfect opportunity to accelerate their growth plans and capitalise on exceptional market conditions.”

He added: “We are also delighted to have been able to recruit some talented new people and promote others during 2021. The whole team has played a crucial role in the deals we have completed.” 

There has been strong activity across the UK as businesses continue to rethink their ambitions and go for growth. In total, BDO LLP has completed 435 corporate finance deals with a combined value of £46 billion in 2021. Globally, the firm advised on 2,020 deals with a total value of $129bn in 2021. This was a 39 per cent increase in deal volume from 2020 and 3x uplift in deal value. More than half (57 pr cent) of BDO’s 2021 deals were cross-border.

Peter Hemington, head of M&A at BDO said: “2021 has been a remarkable year for dealmakers and activity has been underpinned by the resilience and ambition of the UK’s entrepreneurial businesses.

“Our private equity experience meant we were well placed as activity in the UK market in 2021 reached levels not seen since before the global financial crisis. We’ve seen exceptional deal values and volumes across sectors including technology and media, which continues to be one of the fastest growing areas of M&A activity for the firm.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.