BDO LLP has revealed it advised on more than 400 corporate finance deals with a value of £46bn in 2021.
It said transactions involving private equity accounted for 68% of the deals completed as the UK continued to rebound following the disruption of 2020.
Deals spanned a wide range of sectors with a “significant weighting” (27%) towards technology and media in terms of volume and value. More than half (57%) of BDO’s 2021 deals were cross-border.
It said highlights across the UK included acting as reporting accountants for Greencoat UK Wind Plc on its £450m fundraise in December. With a market cap of £3.3bn, Greencoat UK Wind invests in operating UK wind farms and was the first renewable infrastructure fund to list on the LSE main market.
The BDO team also supported BAE Systems Plc with financial due diligence in its bid to join the global space race through its acquisition of In-Space Missions, a UK company that designs, builds, and operates satellites and satellite systems.
BDO also advised the shareholders of pet accessories brand, Omlet Limited on its sale of a minority stake for £33m to Piper Private Equity. BDO also advised the shareholders of longstanding client Prime Global, a global leader in medical communications and market access, on securing investment from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP) to support its continuing worldwide growth.
BDO added it “continued to establish itself as the leading AIM adviser” and acted as reporting accountant for IPOs, including Microlise Plc, Peel Hunt Limited’s entrance to AIM and the IPO of Revolution Beauty Group Plc.
Peter Hemington, head of M&A at BDO said: “2021 has been a remarkable year for dealmakers and activity has been underpinned by the resilience and ambition of the UK’s entrepreneurial businesses.
“Our private equity experience meant we were well placed as activity in the UK market in 2021 reached levels not seen since before the global financial crisis. We’ve seen exceptional deal values and volumes across sectors including technology and media, which continues to be one of the fastest growing areas of M&A activity for the firm.”
He added: “There has been strong activity across the UK as businesses continue to rethink their ambitions and go for growth. Even with some uncertainty at the start of the year, the current high levels of deal-making are expected to continue throughout 2022.”
Chris Grove, head of Transaction Services, said: “We’ve continued to grow and develop our corporate finance team, counting nearly 100 new hires in 2021, so we’re able to support our clients’ ambitions with the best advice and expertise. Our M&A practice named four new partners and our Transaction Services team made 40 new appointments with three new partners.
“We’ve continued to see a very active deals environment into 2022 with strong drivers for all types of M&A, and we have a strong pipeline of activity across our business.”