Deals Review – January 2016

Friday 15th January 2016

In partnership with the Business Desk, several of our experts will comment on significant deals every month. For January our head of corporate, James Fawcett, comments on Bowmark Capital acquiring majority shareholding in Nexus Vehicle Rental, as well as taking a look at Gordons recent corporate activity.

December rounded off what felt like a busy year for corporate deals in Yorkshire.

The standout deal in December 2015 was Bowmark Capital’s £51m acquisition of vehicle rental business Nexus, but it was just one of several high-profile transactions.

Nexus is a true Yorkshire success story – founded in Leeds in 1999, the firm supplies over half a million vehicles to its 800 customers. The transaction certainly contributed to the region ending the year on a high.

At Gordons, December was a particularly busy month for deals, as is often the case. Over a five-day period four notable transactions we are advising on were signed, including the sale of Vianet plc’s fuel solutions division and Schenker AG’s acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Redhead International.

As is often the case in a general election year, there was a lot of activity from January to May 2015, with LDC’s £207 million buyout of SSP in March and the £150 million acquisition of Poundworld by private equity firm TPG in mid-May.

This wave of headline-grabbing deals subsided somewhat after the election, but activity picked up again in the second half of the year with a steady but significant stream of transactions.

2016 has a lot to live up to but, from what we are seeing, the signs are positive so far. In particular, we expect to see increased SME and mid-market activity: private equity houses still have plenty of cash to invest and banks remain supportive of quality businesses. We are looking forward to another exciting year for Yorkshire businesses.