Reviewing 2018, Looking Forward to 2019

Reviewing 2018, Looking Forward to 2019

01 February 2019

The Spectrum team is looking forward to the year ahead following a record year in 2018 with 42 deal completions including Spectrum's first disposal over £100m, the sale of ICS Cool Energy to Ingersoll Rand in the USA.

A total transaction value of £730m in 2018 underlines Spectrum’s position as one of the UK’s leading corporate finance firms, focusing solely on lead and debt advisory from its offices in London, Reading and Southampton.

Key highlights from 2018;

  • 42 deal completions with an aggregate value of over £730m
  • Over £250m of debt raised for lenders and management teams looking to complete a transaction or support future growth
  • 34 PE Deals completed with an aggregate value of more than £525m
  • 60% of disposals to international buyers in Canada, Australia, Europe and the USA
  • New Head Office in Abbey Gardens, Reading; and a new London Office on Broadwick Street, Soho.
  • Seven new recruits in Reading and London
  • Finalist in the ‘UK Corporate Finance House of the Year’ category at the 2018 Real Deals National Private Equity Awards
  • Finalist in the ‘Debt Adviser of the year’ category at the 2018 Unquote Private Equity Awards
  • Winner of ‘Corporate Finance Team of the Year’ at the 2018 Thames Valley Deal Awards
  • Winner of ‘Large deal of the Year’ at the Solent Deal Awards for the Sale of ICS Cool Energy to Ingersoll Rand In this issue:


What does 2019 hold for Spectrum?

We start 2019 with our largest ever pipeline and a full complement of 22 staff across three offices, including 7 who joined us during 2018 and the start of 2019. We anticipate adding to the team throughout the year ahead and plan to recruit further senior resource in our new London office in Broadwick Street to join Ed Wirgman, who joined in 2018 from KPMG to head up Spectrum’s TMT service line.

The first quarter of 2019 will include several notable completions which are all in the final stages of due diligence, and include a mixture of trade and PE deals. In the last year, 60% of disposals were to overseas trade buyers. Whilst we continue to see strong interest from overseas, the current pipeline reflects a slight move back towards more PE buyers and UK-based trade interest. In 2018, we recorded Spectrum’s first disposal over £100m, and we enter 2019 with at least one mandate which will also be in excess of £100m and several qualified pipeline opportunities of a similar size.

The continued overhang of Brexit and political uncertainty will undoubtedly cause some transaction hesitancy in early 2019; however, we continue to see keen interest in businesses with quality assets, strong recurring revenue, technology enablement or unique customer propositions. We are confident that 2019 will be another record year for Spectrum as we enter our 9th year of trading, and we are already looking forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary next year.


10 Headline Deals from 2018

  • Sale of Brand View to Ascential plc
  • Sale of ICS Cool Energy to Ingersoll Rand (USA)
  • Sale of 90% of Complete Fertility Centre to Virtus Health (Australia)
  • Management buy-out of AJM Healthcare
  • Acquisition of The Appointment Group by Apiary Capital
  • Debt Raise for Primary Capital to support investment into ICS Learn
  • Buy-side advisory to NVM Private Equity on investment into Flexioffices
  • Sale of Metasphere to XPV Water Partners (Canada)
  • Sale of ConneXion World Cargo to AIT Worldwide Logistics Inc. (USA)
  • Sale of Arden Group to babble cloud, backed by LDC

  • The Spectrum Team

    In April, Spectrum was named ‘Corporate Finance Team of the Year’ at the Thames Valley deal awards and Richard Boyden was shortlisted in the ‘Young Adviser of the Year’ category.

    We start 2019 having made the shortlist in the ‘Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year’ and ‘Deal of the Year (transaction under £10m)’ categories at the Insider South East Dealmakers Awards 2019 – the winners will be announced at the gala dinner on the 7 February.

    In October, we announced the promotion of Simon Sherliker to Director within our Debt Advisory team. Simon has played a very important part in delivering the growth of the Debt Advisory business and has been influential in bringing new deals into the business.

    In the last year we have welcomed seven new members to the team, adding strength to our TMT, Debt Advisory, Lead Advisory, Research and Support teams.

    Ed Wirgman joined in June as Corporate Finance Director and Head of TMT, based in the London office.

    Julia Carruthers joined in July as a Senior Manager specialising in financial modelling and lead advisory.

    Julie Lada joined the debt advisory team in September to work alongside Ian Milne and Simon Sherliker on all areas of debt advisory projects.

    Stephan Caps and Mark Fuller joined in September as Research Analysts based in the London office, and Ellie Stanford joined in October as Team Admin Assistant in the Reading office.

    In January this year, Chris Wood joined the team as a Manager in the Lead Advisory team, based in the Reading office.

    Our Newest Team Members:

    Focus on Debt Advisory for Private Equity

    In December 2016 we opened our first London office, primarily to continue expansion into the PE market with Debt Advisory services. Due to the successes of the past 2 years and following the recruitment of additional resource to support our growing assignment schedule, we have moved to new larger premises in Soho.

    In 2018 our Debt Advisory team advised on 25 transactions and raised over £250m for Private Equity and management teams looking to complete a transaction or support future growth.

    The Debt Advisory team has worked with 16 different PE houses in 2018 on many notable transactions. These included advising;

  • LDC and babble cloud on a debt raise to part-fund the acquisition of Arden Group;
  • Apiary Capital on a debt raise to fund the acquisition of The Appointment Group;
  • Inflexion and K2 through a recapitalisation and global working capital facility raising;
  • FPE Capital on a debt raise to support their investment into The NAV People;
  • Primary Capital on a debt raise to support their investment into ICS Learn; and
  • Mobeus Equity Partners and Ludlow Wealth Management Group on a debt raise to support their acquisition strategy.

  • Sector Focus: Technology, Media and Telecoms

    The Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) sector continues to see exceptional growth and remains one of the UK’s strongest performing and most active sectors for deal activity.

    In the last 6 months, Spectrum has completed 9 transactions in TMT including business sales, acquisitions and capital raising projects, across a diverse range of sub-sectors including telemetry, cloud computing, analytics, telecoms and printing technology.

    In 2018, Spectrum welcomed Ed Wirgman to the team as Head of TMT, based in our London office.

    Commenting on current trends in the TMT sector, Ed said,

    “Despite a backdrop of increasing instability in public markets and the geopolitical landscape, we have seen continued strong deal momentum in the primary sub-sectors of TMT during the second half of 2018.

    At Spectrum we focus on the mid-market, which has arguably been less susceptible thus far to uncertainty in the macro-environment, and where proprietary innovation, revenue predictability and vertical specialisms have continued to be highly valued by both strategic and private equity buyers.

    There are numerous drivers underpinning growth in the sector as we move into 2019, including an acceleration of cloud consumption models, process automation and the increasing application of disruptive technologies in a B2B context. With a growing number of both specialist and non-technology capital vying for a comparatively limited supply of attractive growth assets, we anticipate 2019 will see strong valuations persist and TMT remain an attractive market for privately owned UK businesses seeking growth capital and liquidity.”

    < Back to news