Despite ongoing concerns for the UK economy, Addleshaw Goddard's Corporate team remains optimistic as H1 comes to a close, following the completion of its 10th significant deal in the North West within the past 8 weeks, proving that there is significant scope for transactions to take place within the region.
The team has seen opportunities across the market, including M&A, Equity Capital Markets, and Private Equity, as companies look for additional liquidity to allow for strategic acquisitions or investments; for the opportunity for business owners to de-risk; or for new ways to restructure and secure their businesses.
Fundraisings in particular are proving to be popular with quoted companies looking for an efficient way to strengthen their balance sheets and also provide themselves with capital to seize opportunities in the times ahead. In May, the team completed three equity fundraisings in the space of a week, with the £67.3m fundraising by On the Beach, which came after a £197.7m fundraising by Boohoo, and the £32.6m fundraising by Scapa. This was supplemented by the all share merger of Karpus Management Inc. and City of London Investment Group PLC, Bruntwood's acquisition of a 25% stake in Sciontec Developments Limited, which operates Liverpool Science Park and the sale of the oncology business of Alderley Park Limited to Phoenix Private Equity backed Sygnature Discovery Limited.
Private Equity work also remains resilient for the team in the region, with deals including acting for Livingbridge on their investment in TitanHQ, Literacy Capital Partners on their investment in Vanilla Electronics, the P2P of Be Heard Partnership backed by LDC's MSQ Partnership, and the bolt-on of Top3Legal by Inflexion backed Chambers and Partners.
Paul Medlicott, Partner in Addleshaw Goddard's Corporate team, comments: "We ended Q1 going into lockdown on the back of completing some fantastic PE and M&A transactions such as the sale of Fishawack by LDC to Bridgepoint and PZ Cussons' sale of its Nutricima and Luksja brands, but the market very quickly paused at the start of April.
"After a hiatus where businesses focussed on understanding the challenges of entering lockdown we are now seeing many clients seizing the new opportunities this provided. Now as we enter the second half of 2020, we expect to see this trend continue, as companies with strong balance sheets get ready to push on with their expansive strategies. This, coupled with banks and debt funds better understanding their balance sheets, will undoubtedly unlock further transactional activity across the North West and beyond moving forward."