Reviewing 2017, Looking Forward to 2018

Reviewing 2017, Looking Forward to 2018

16 February 2018

The Spectrum Corporate Finance team is looking forward to the year ahead following a record year in 2017 with 30 deal completions including Arts Alliance Media Group, Village Vets, Rush Hair & Beauty, Stirling Ackroyd and Tructyre.

A total transaction value of £547m in 2017 underlines Spectrum’s position as the leading regional corporate finance firm in Reading and the South, focusing solely on lead and debt advisory.

Key highlights from 2017 include;

  • 30 deal completions with an aggregate value of over £547m
  • £267m of debt raised for lenders and management teams looking to complete a transaction or support future growth
  • 21 PE Deals completed with an aggregate value of over £485m
  • Six businesses sold to international buyers from China, France, Canada and the USA
  • Four team promotions in Reading and two new manager appointments in our London office
  • Finalist in the ‘UK Corporate Finance House of the Year’ category at the 2017 Real Deals National Private Equity Awards. Spectrum has recently been announced as a finalist in the same category at the 2018 Awards
  • Finalist in the ‘Corporate Financier of the Year’ category at the 2017 Unquote Private Equity Awards
  • Spectrum wins ‘Corporate Finance Team of the Year’ and Clive Hatchard wins ‘Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year’, at the 2017 Thames Valley Deal Awards

What does 2018 hold for Spectrum?

We have had a great start to 2018 already completing the sale of Southampton based ICS Cool Energy to Ingersoll Rand, a leading manufacturer and supplier of HVAC equipment, and the sale of garden tools manufacturer Burgon & Ball to the Canadian based global organisation Venanpri Tools. ICS Cool Energy was Spectrum’s first disposal above £100m and followed a very competitive process involving trade and financial buyers.

In addition, we currently have a very strong pipeline of new and current deals with further significant completions expected in the first quarter including several cross-border disposals to buyers from Australia and the US.

In March 2018 we will be moving our Head Office in Reading to the 7th floor, Abbey Gardens. There will be more details to follow, and we look forward to welcoming all our professional contacts at our new office soon.

Our London office is now firmly established and has allowed us to expand further into the Private Equity market, particularly with debt advisory services, and provide a base for our London based clients to meet with us. In 2017 we recruited three additional members who are based full time in our London office in addition to our debt advisory team who now operate from both London and Reading.

The expected reduction in activity post Brexit and the effect of a hung parliament has proven to be unfounded in M&A to date and we have experienced a solid wave of new business throughout 2017 which is continuing with numerous enquiries at the start of 2018. We have no doubt that this will prove another record year for Spectrum Corporate Finance and we will look to invest across the business with our move to larger premises in both Reading and London planned this year together with the development of a dedicated TMT team based in London.

10 Headline Deals from 2017/18

The Spectrum Team

In April 2017 the Spectrum team was named ‘Corporate Finance Team of the Year’ at the Thames Valley deal awards. In addition, Clive Hatchard was named ‘Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year’ and James Mines was shortlisted in the ‘Young Adviser of the Year’ category.

In 2017 we welcomed three new team members to the London office, and celebrated four promotions within the Reading team. James Mines was promoted to Director in April, and in October Bilal Hasan was promoted to Associate Director, Richard Boyden to Senior Manager and Robert Chant to Manager.

Indy Goraya joined the London office in May as a Corporate Finance Manager, shortly followed by Greg Watterson in June as Research Manager, also based in the London office. Spectrum has also recently welcomed Renier Schaubroeck as a Researcher based in the London office. Renier will work with Greg on research related activities in support of Spectrum’s current and prospective projects.

Case Study - Linnaeus Group & Sovereign Capital: Buy and Build

The Linnaeus Group was established in 2014 following Sovereign Capital’s platform investment in Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, one of the largest and most highly regarded small animal specialist veterinary referral centres in the UK.

Spectrum advised Sovereign Capital thoughout the initial acquisition, and since then have continued to work closely with Sovereign and the newly formed Linnaeus Group on their buy-and-build acquisition strategy, providing both lead and debt advisory support on all subsequent acquisitions.

Since formation the Group has made 20 acquisitions, with 8 acquisitions in 2017, including Village Vet, Spinney Lodge, Blythwood Vets and Heathcote, in order to diversify its offering and expand its geographic reach, and is now the leading specialist referral led veterinary operator in the UK.

The Group now comprises 5 state-of-the-art specialist referral centres; 76 first opinion practices; and a team of 1,350 staff overall including 325 clinicians and 100 of the leading specialist veterinary surgeons in the world. Together, providing an extensive breadth of specialist services which include: orthopaedics, ophthalmology, neurology, soft tissue surgery, internal medicine, oncology, dermatology and cardiology.

“We have been working with the Spectrum team since our original investment in Linnaeus. We have been extremely impressed with the way in which they seamlessly blend their buy-side and debt advisory services to provide a highly responsive and top-quality service that is critical to the successful delivery of complex, competitive and demanding transactions. The Spectrum approach is very hands-on and detailed, and their support is invaluable.”
Jonathan Kay, Director, Sovereign Capital

Sector Success: Real Estate

Despite the residential and commercial market continuing to face challenges from Brexit uncertainty and stamp duty changes, like any sector there are good companies which thrive in difficult times.

The market remains attractive to investors including high net worth individuals and private equity houses seeking investment opportunities with attractive returns and the larger corporate consolidators continue to be acquisitive.

At Spectrum Corporate Finance the team are working closely with estate agents as we see both national groups consolidating their position as well as private equity backed platforms growing by acquisition. We have advised on a number of significant deals in the Real Estate sector, including most recently the Sale of Stirling Ackroyd to Nick Dunning Associates and the Sale of Butters John Bee to Spicerhaart. In addition, our debt team has been working closely with building developers, including Bargate Homes and Strongvox, to raise the capital required to complete projects such as new residential housing developments.

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