Tech drives bumper year of deals for corporate finance team

The Leeds-based Corporate Finance team at law firm Addleshaw Goddard has revealed it completed more than 60 deals with an aggregate value of over £1.3bn over the past year.

The firm reported a 20% rise in deals completed in Leeds compared to the previous year, with M&A and private equity activity in the tech & digital, energy, retail and industrial sectors making up more than two-thirds of those deals.

AG says tech has seen a particularly sharp rise, making up around a third of the total and the team expects that trend to continue.

AG’s team, led by seven partners, is now over 30-strong having grown significantly to service a buoyant deals market, with a number of promotions and new appointments in that period.

Carly Gulliver, who specialises in M&A for private companies and private equity, acting for management teams and founders and with a particular focus on the digital sector, became the newest partner earlier this year.

Her promotion followed on from AG adding to its bench strength with Rachel Faulconbridge joining as an associate from Lupton Fawcett LLP, managing associate Ed Ainscoe from Walker Morris, associate Jack Irwin from Womble Bond Dickinson, Shannon Hardcastle, who began her career at AG as a paralegal before qualifying as a solicitor and taking up her position as an associate in the team, and fellow new associate Nicholas Clarke.

The trend for supporting and promoting internal talent continued with the promotions of Caroline Kavanagh and Tom Hopwood to legal director and managing associate respectively from 1 September.

Complex and high-profile deals in the region and beyond included:

  • LDC’s investment into the Building Cost Information Service
  • The sale of My Money Expert Limited to Palatine Private Equity LLP
  • The sale of Transport tech firm 365 Response to RLDatix
  • A series of acquisitions for Team 17 Group, including the £90m deal for German business Astragon Entertainment
  • The sale of stretch-film manufacturer Eurofilms Extrusion Limited to Swedish group Trioworld
  • The sale of Whitfield Chemical Group Limited to Belgium-based chemical suppliers Azelis
  • The sale of IT managed services provider Technique on its sale to Pixel Group
  • Sale of GEOslam to US-listed Faro Inc
  • Sale of Prime Surfactants to global chemicals distributor Brenntag

Head of Corporate, Richard Hunt, said: “Despite the challenges businesses in the region continue to face, many have moved quickly to reset and refocus their growth ambitions, by either seeking capital to grow or to restructure their operations in readiness for a transaction, which is reflected in the significant number and type of deals we’ve closed.

“There are clear trends towards investors and large overseas corporates seeking out firms that are innovators and disruptors whether that is in digital transformation, ed-tech, health-tech or even in the more traditional industrial sectors.

“It is clear that the relative weakness of Sterling is driving overseas appetite for UK targets.”