Yorkshire’s Private Equity Market Grows in Size in the UK


July 3, 2015


When it comes to the UK’s private equity market, the region of Yorkshire has been a surprising champion in the first half of 2015. Although the region isn’t the biggest buyout market in the UK, it has been able to attract record deal values in the first six months of the year.


Yorkshire’s Private Equity Deal Numbers


According to the latest data published by the Centre for Management Buyout Research, Yorkshire’s private equity buyout market reached £1.4 billion in the first half of the year. This is the regions highest half-year deal value in ten years.


The region has so far completed nine private equity deals, with four of the deals being in the top 20 highest-value deals in the UK.


Andi Tomkinson, investment director at Equistone Partners Europe in the North of England, told the Yorkshire Post, “The Yorkshire deal market has performed exceptionally well in the first half, with a number of high-value deals that have helped it become the leading region in the North for private equity buyouts.”


The region’s deal value was only surpassed by London and South East. London’s private equity buyout market stood at £2.6 billion and South East managed to make £2.3 billion worth of deals in the first six months of 2015.


High-Value Deals


Yorkshire managed to improve its private equity buyout market with a number of high-valued deals. On top of the list was Sky’s sale of its betting and gambling arm to private equity firm CVC. The £720 million deal was among the top deals in the UK.


Furthermore, Poundworld, with its headquarter in Yorkshire’s Wakefield, was sold to the US private equity firm TPG. That deal was worth £150 million.


There were also a few notable private equity exits. Doncaster-based DFS, the furniture retailer, raised £543 million with its IPO in March.


UK Remains the Leading Market in Europe


Overall, UK is the leading market when it comes to private equity. The country attracted the highest amount of private equity exits, totalling £21.6 billion. Furthermore, buyout deals in the UK also surpassed other European countries with total deal value amounting to £10.5 billion.


The UK managed to attract 101 private equity buyout deals in the first half of the year. In addition, the region’s exit number stood at 92. UK’s position as the leader in the European private equity market is clear, as the second-place France only managed to finish 43 private equity buyout deals and 29 exits in the same time.


In terms of deal value, all the top ten deals were made in the UK. These included the Vista Partners, US-based private equity firm, £725 million takeover of Advanced Computer Software and the Sky Bet deal, mentioned above.


In addition, top ten exits in terms of value included five UK exits. Some of the most notable UK exits in the first half of the year include the Auto Trader flotation that valued the company at £2.35 billion and United Biscuits deal, which saw the private equity firms Blackstone and PAI sell the company to a Turkish business.

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