Corporate deal activity in the South East shows that many businesses are not only weathering the storm of the pandemic but actually flourishing. Kate Eavis, Partner and Head of Corporate at Thames Valley law firm Boyes Turner discusses some of the deals that her team has advised on this year.
We regularly work with some of the UK’s most exciting start-ups alongside multinationals. There was some initial hesitation in M&A activity at the start of the pandemic, but this quickly abated, and we are encouraged to see continued growth in deal activity.
From cars to agriculture
One of the most encouraging signs from the deals we have advised on is the variety of sectors they cover. The breadth of deal activity we are seeing indicates that economic development is not being restricted to just one industry.
In the automotive retail sector, we advised MotorDocs and its shareholders on its acquisition by Keyloop, a leading provider of document management systems. The acquisition enables Keyloop to obtain a strong document management platform.
In the agriculture sector, we acted for Origin Enterprises Plc on the acquisition of Greentech Limited, the UK’s leading manufacturer and distributor of landscaping, forestry and grounds maintenance equipment. This was an exciting strategic fit for Origin and demonstrates its commitment to a market segment it expects to grow.
Securing funding is an important milestone for any business, and despite the pandemic, we found that investment remained available during the past 18 months and continues to be so, particularly for businesses that can demonstrate high growth potential.
There are a number of options when it comes to securing funding and investment. Our client, medical technology start-up Occuity opted for crowdfunding, reaching its target of £1.8 million on crowdfunding platform Seedrs on the first day of its public launch. This was a fantastic achievement on its part of course, but also testament to the current mood of investors looking for exciting start-ups to back.
The funding will be used to accelerate the development of new optical screening and monitoring devices that aim to detect the early signs of chronic health conditions, including diabetes, by scanning the human eye.
We also advised Mobeus Equity Partners on its £4m investment in innovative veterinary business, Pets’ Kitchen Limited. The investment will be used to drive growth and fund the roll out of ‘Vet’s Klinic’, state of the art veterinary centres. Vet’s Klinic’s first centre opened in Swindon in 2012, and the company will use the funds to establish four more ‘Super Klinics’ along the M4 corridor.
Going for growth
Businesses looking for growth may consider buying another business, but there are other options. For collections, recoveries and enforcement business Chartsbridge a strategic joint venture acquisition was the best choice.
We advised Chartsbridge on the launch of Equivo, a new one-stop recoveries business, which will provide clients with a complete recoveries solution, the first of its kind in the market and regulated by both the SRA and the FCA.
This complex transaction saw Chartsbridge acquire law firm Shoosmiths’ recoveries services business, in exchange for a majority shareholding in Chartsbridge which has been rebranded as Equivo and consolidates all these services under the Equivo banner.
To contact Kate:
01189 527 143