Baker Tilly’s Corporate Finance team in the North West has recently completed a hat-trick of deals. Looking forward, the business advisory firm expects the M&A appetite to sustain in 2015.
Hat-trick of M&A deals
In Q3 olast year, Baker Tilly’s North West Corporate Finance team advised on the sale of veterinary practice Willows Veterinary Centre to UK-based Sovereign Capital, an equity specialist which invests in the healthcare services, education & training and business support services sectors. As part of the deal, Baker Tilly developed a strategy that facilitated growth in the business of Willows. A deal that, according to the consulting firm, will provide Willows with “real opportunities to grow and strengthen the business with the support of Sovereign Capital.”
In the last quarter of 2014, the firm advised on two deals, the first of which was the £6 million investment by Piper in Hickory’s BBQ chain. The firm advised Neil McDonnell, founder of Hickory’s BBQ chain, and other Hickory’s shareholders throughout the deal process. For Hickory the deal will prove positive: “Piper has a significant amount of expertise in the hospitality sector, and so pairing them with Hickory’s dynamic management team is a positive move that will help them achieve their ambitious growth plans for the future,” Baker Tilly notes. The second deal the M&A specialists assisted on was the management buy-in and buyout (BIMBO) of leisure home manufacturers Cambrian Leisure by YFM Equity Partners. As part of this deal, the firm advised the management of Cambrian Leisure throughout the process.
Buoyant M&A environment
According to James Wild, Corporate Finance Director for Baker Tilly, the recent series of deals is the result of the buoyant environment for mergers and acquisitions in the mid-market: “The environment for M&A in the mid-market is buoyant at present in the region with increased appetite from private equity investors and trade buyers. In 2014 we have seen an increase in deal valuations and a willingness to progress with key business decisions without undue delay.” The firm expects the appetite to sustain in the coming year, of which the firm will be able to profit: “There’s every reason to think that this appetite will continue into 2015, and the strength and depth of our private equity experience and expertise puts us in an excellent position to deal with these.”