JULY UPDATE: Mergers and acquisitions in the South East Midlands

7 August 2015

Business continued to be brisk across the South East Midlands in July, with 11 completed corporate finance transactions.

In the Financial Services sector, MacIntyre Hudson LLP, a Milton Keynes provider of accountancy and business advisory services, acquired Birmingham accountancy firm Bloomer Heaven Ltd.

Hoist Finance AB, a Stockholm-based provider of debt purchase and debt collection services, acquired Compello Holdings Ltd, based in Milton Keynes, from entities managed by Cabot Square Capital.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Bank of Montreal, a provider of banking and financial services, acquired a portfolio of eight logistics assets totalling 296,000 square feet of space, from London-based Helical Bar Plc, a property investment and development group, in a £28.5m deal.

In the Technology arena, Chargemaster Plc, a Luton-based developer of electric car charging point products, acquired GB Electrical & Building Services Ltd, located in Hereford, which installs electrical vehicle charging points.

In another transaction in this space, Tactical Safety Responses Ltd (TSR), based in Daventry, a distributor of Smart Weapons and body cameras, was acquired by Arizona-based Taser International Inc, which designs and manufactures non-lethal weapons.

The deal will help the company to develop new public safety technologies and grow its sales capability.

The Healthcare sector also recorded two deals. Firstly, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, an Illinois-based company that owns and operates a network of drug stores, acquired Liz Earle Beauty Co Ltd, which, located in Northampton, supplies skin care products. The business was purchased from parent group, Avon Products Inc.

Also, care home operator Decorum Care & Support Services Ltd in Dunstable, acquired Newton Abbott based Southlands Care Home, which operates a 28-room care home. Debt funding in support of the deal was provided by Royal Bank of Scotland.

In the field of Property Services, Connells Ltd, a Leighton Buzzard-based specialist residential property manager, a subsidiary of the Skipton Building Society, made two acquisitions in July.

Firstly, it bought Staffordshire-based Cartwrights Residential Letting and Management Services, and the second purchase saw Selective Lets Ltd, a Dunstable headquartered, local independent and family run residential lettings and property management business, come under its umbrella.

The purchases mean that Connells has opened more than 100 lettings branches in the last 18 months.
In the Real Estate market, property manager Helical Bar Plc acquired six individual logistics warehouses for a total cost of £37.5m at a blended net initial yield of 7.8%. The combined floor space of the warehouses is approximately 700,000 sq ft.

Separately, Helical Bar has also sold a portfolio of eight logistics assets to BMO Global Asset Management, for £28.5m representing a net initial yield of 6.35%. Providing a total of 296,000 sq ft, the properties are located in locations including Milton Keynes, Northampton and Bedford.
The South East Midlands region also attracted institutional capital in July.

Firstly, Northampton-based Bright Star Financial Ltd, a provider of loans to businesses, secured an investment from Omni Equity Partners, with the venture capital firm taking a minority stake in the business. Founded in 2011, Bright Star now has a team of 40 people, originating approximately £1bn of specialist debt.

Secondly, Private Equity firm Endless LLP acquired the Fleet and Passenger Services (FPS) division of Kier Group for £17.9m in a management buyout. Following the deal, the division will be renamed Essential Fleet Services. The deal includes the transfer of FPS’s finance lease debt of approximately £32m.

July’s deals reinforced the stature of the South East Midlands as a powerhouse in the British economy, again showing impressive investment in the region.