The Bishop

UK PLC for Sale

Roll up, roll up, everything must go. UK PLC is up for sale. With the number of recent UK takeovers, you could be forgiven for thinking that the UK has become the focus of bargain hunting for overseas buyers. With the Brexit-inspired collapse in sterling, international investors and cash rich private equity houses are buying up UK plc.

Over the summer we have seen Greene King succumb to a £2.7 billion bid from Li Ka-Shing, following on from a spate of takeovers including Saputo (Canada) acquiring Dairy Crest and Lego/Blackstone taking out Merlin Entertainments. Cobham is now under attack from a US based PE house and every week there seems to be M&A action in the PLC arena.

Since the referendum, the pound has fallen 18% against the dollar and the public markets are now a huge opportunity for cash rich buyers, particularly private equity houses who have to do deals to make money.

It is interesting that the main activity is in the public markets rather than the unquoted sector, which remains subdued pending some direction from Parliament.  The Bishopsgate team have a number of deals closing prior to Xmas, but they also have a number of mandates “on hold” pending some clarity. The Bishop expects deal activity to return to normal in Q1 2020 but we all have one eye on Westminster. 

James McBain Allan of Stamford based M&A boutique, Bishopsgate, is awarded a prestigious dealmaking award

At the East Midlands Dealmakers Awards 2019, held on Thursday night in Nottingham, James received the Young Dealmaker of the Year award.  The event brings together the entire region’s M&A firms, banks, funders and private equity houses to celebrate the year’s major dealing making teams. 

James McBain Allan, who has recently been promoted to Partner at Bishopsgate Corporate Finance, was delighted to gain the award, and has led on several major deals this year, including vet group Linnaeus’ acquisition of rival Davies, the buyout of Virgin Experience Days, and BCF's investment in children’s holiday firm Barracudas.


Bishopsgate completes a hat-trick of deals in April  

Whilst many people were enjoying the unseasonably good Easter weather, the Bishopsgate team were burning the midnight oil, completing 3 transactions in April.

The hat-trick included the following:

·      The Management Buy-out of Majestic Bingo;

·      The acquisition of Associated Reclaimed Oils by Newark based Enva Specialist Waste, formerly Oakwood Fuels;

·      The disposal of Guttridge Limited to the Singapore headquartered Mitchells Group

James McBain Allan, Partner at Bishopsgate Corporate Finance commented:

“It has been a fantastic start to the year for the Bishopsgate team, with three local deals demonstrating the quality of the Midlands as a hub for entrepreneurship. This follows on from the sale of Davies Veterinary to Linnaeus in February and is testament to the investment we have made at Bishopsgate and the hard work and tenacious attitude of the team. 

Despite difficult deal-making conditions with the Brexit overhang, we will continue to find creative, high value solutions for our clients and our business has shown tremendous growth in 2018/19.

We will not rest on our laurels and are continuing to look at ways of innovating, growing the team and adding to our market leading service offering. We are also in the final stages of securing a high-profile appointment of a leading dealmaker in the Midlands, who we will announce in the coming weeks”.