PE Firms Prepare Mid-Market UK Buyouts


February 25, 2014

A flurry of private equity (PE) activity is expected to kick off this spring across the United Kingdom, with several mid-market businesses interesting a number of leading PE houses. Mid-market deals both in the UK and worldwide were more frequent and of a higher value than they had been in many years, and what is being seen as a sustained period of moving on from the global financial crisis will continue to boost deals in 2014.


Numerous news sources, including Reuters, have reported in recent days that software firm Anite is looking to sell on its travel division. It is unknown what the likely deal value will be, although Anite’s travel division had approximate revenues of £20million (profits circa £5million) for the year ending April 30, 2013. Private Equity News reports that the total company is valued at £270million. Based on the percentage of the Anite business driven by travel, a buyout in the region of £40million could happen.


Private Equity News lists Carlyle Group and Lloyds Development Capital as among those interested in Anite. More is known about other potential deals that are likely to happen in the coming weeks and months, with Sky News reporting that Montagu Private Equity want to acquire Autodata in a buyout and then merge the business with CAP, an acquisition from 2012, to create an automotive “industry powerhouse.”


Private Equity News also lists ECI Partners as an interested party. Autodata is expected to sell for in excess of £50million. Livingstone Partners have been appointed by Autodata to find a buyer.


These deals aren’t the only ones interesting Carlyle and ECI. Both firms are also interested in consulting, software, and services business Cordium, with this deal expected to be in excess of £100million. Sovereign Capital are currently the owners of Cordium and, according to Private Equity News, have appointed Rothschild to conduct a review of the company, with a sale the most likely outcome.


A number of other mid-market companies are expected to garner interest from the PE marketplace or be looking to sell in 2014 as businesses look to capitalise on the growing confidence in PE and in the economy in general.

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