PwC Corporate Finance team advises on two deals in Wales

10 July 2019 4 min. read

PwC’s UK wing has advised on the completion of two deals in Wales. The moves have seen Ancala Partners take a 50% interest in liquefied natural gas firm Dragon LNG, while SaaS platform Safety Media has been sold to enterprise software provider The Access Group.

Headquartered in St. Asaph, North Wales, Safety Media is a SaaS platform provider of health and safety e-learning, learning management and risk management workflow solutions, with a market-leading position in the UK. The firm was privately owned by its founders and senior management, and has achieved strong revenue growth and excellent profitability leading to recognition as the winner of the 2019 Emerging Stars Best Performing Accounting & Enterprise Software Company from technology industry research group Megabuyte.

The firm’s performance recently made it the target of an acquisition, however, and it has subsequently been purchased by The Access Group. Backed by funding from TA Associates and Hg Capital, The Access Group is a leading mid-market enterprise software provider in the UK, and the acquisition of Safety Media will strengthen Access’ new Digital Learning and Compliance division.

Big Four firm PwC’s Corporate Finance department acted as the lead financial advisor to the shareholders of Safety Media. The PwC deal team was Daniel Gallagher, Dan Bessant, Graeme Scott, Simone Walters and Matt Hollingsworth. PwC also provided tax structuring advice in connection with the deal.

Commenting on the work done by PwC, Toby Roberts Managing Director of Safety Media said, “We had no hesitation in selecting PwC due to their excellent understanding of our business and their deep knowledge of the software and learning technology space. From our very first meeting we had confidence that they had the ability to reach both UK and global buyers and had the inside track on the M&A strategy for key potential acquirers. We built up a close working relationship with the PwC team, which helped us enormously throughout the journey, and resulted in a successful conclusion.”

Ancala Partners + Dragon LNG and Safety Media + The Access Group

Elsewhere, PwC also helped broker a deal between Ancala Partners and Dragon LNG, a liquefied natural gas (‘LNG’) terminal located at Milford Haven, Wales. One of three LNG regasification terminals in the UK, Dragon LNG possesses the only terminal with a re-liquefaction capability which allows customers to use the terminal for storage and gas trading activities. The terminal has a maximum gas send out rate to the UK’s National Transmission System of up to 9 billion cubic metres per annum, providing energy for millions of commercial and residential UK users.

Independent infrastructure investment manager Ancala announced an acquisition of a 50% interest in the firm on behalf of its managed funds from Petronas, a subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional Berhad. Transaction terms were not disclosed. PwC acted as lead advisor to Petronas throughout the transaction.

The deal team led by Jon Shelley, UK Corporate Finance Energy Services leader, and Tom Copeland, supported by David Isaacs working with Petronas. PwC also provided financial vendor due diligence services, while DNV GL provided technical due diligence services. Humphrey Douglas of Dentons provided legal advice for Petronas, with support from Daniel Saville and Michael Walton.

Shelley, a PwC Partner, said, "We are delighted to have acted as Lead Advisor to Petronas on this significant and complex transaction. Dragon LNG is a key asset within the UK Gas market and is supported by favourable global LNG market trends."

Lee Mellor, Partner, Ancala, meanwhile commented, “Dragon LNG is well placed to benefit from reducing UK gas storage capacity, maturing North Sea gas production and favourable long-term LNG market dynamics. With revenues underpinned by a long-term availability-based throughput agreement with Shell and Petronas, the transaction represents an attractive addition to our portfolio and expands our midstream infrastructure activities. We look forward to working with Dragon LNG’s team in continuing to grow and optimise performance of the terminal.”