Reviewing 2019, Looking Forward to 2020

Reviewing 2019, Looking Forward to 2020

06 February 2020

The Spectrum team is looking forward to the year ahead following a successful 2019 with 39 deal completions with a total transaction value of over £1.2bn.

In addition, Spectrum’s Debt Advisory team has raised over £785m for business owners, management teams and private equity investors looking to fund acquisitions, raise working capital facilities or re-finance existing debt facilities.

Key highlights from 2019:

  • 39 deal completions with an aggregate value of over £1.2bn
  • Over £785m of debt raised for lenders and management teams looking to complete a transaction or support future growth
  • 27 PE deals completed with an aggregate value of more than £867m
  • Nine new recruits in London and Reading including Managing Director Mark Farlow
  • 4 Award Wins, including ‘Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year’ at the 2019 Insider South East Dealmakers Awards and ‘Corporate Finance Team of the Year’ for the third year running at the 2019 Thames Valley Deal Awards
  • Finalist in the ‘Debt Adviser of the Year’ category at the 2019 Unquote Private Equity Awards


What does 2020 hold for Spectrum?

We start 2020 with a full pipeline of transactions and 27 staff across three offices, including 9 who joined us during 2019. We anticipate adding to the team throughout the year ahead and plan to recruit further senior resource in our London office to support the growing pipeline of Private Equity transactions. We will be moving to a new larger London office so we can accommodate our ever-growing team of 12 professionals in one location and hope to be able to share details of our new premises soon.

We are pleased to say that our international network continues to grow, and now boasts over 250 experienced deal professionals across 41 firms in 39 countries worldwide. Last year we welcomed new member firms in Switzerland, Germany and Vietnam – further broadening our access to global potential acquirers and adding local intelligence on market and sector M&A trends in their home countries.

In May 2019 we attended the Global AICA Conference in Singapore to discuss cross border opportunities and share market insights. This conference saw the launch of the AICA Global Awards, where Spectrum was named ‘Most invaluable partner’. This award was voted by the members themselves, showing the strength and support on deals that Spectrum has shown to AICA members worldwide.

As predicted at the beginning of last year, whilst we continue to see strong interest from overseas acquirers, 2019 saw a slight move back to more PE buyers and UK-based trade interest with 38% of disposals in 2019 to overseas buyers compared to 60% in 2018. The current pipeline for 2020 reflects a similar trend to last year, with a 50:50 split of anticipated company sales to PE versus trade, and approximately one third of the trade sales expected to complete with potential overseas parties.

Business Services (40%) Technology (30%), and Healthcare (20%) transactions dominated our completions in 2019 and the 2020 pipeline looks similar, with Technology sector mandates leading the way along with Business Services as well as some exciting Consumer, Industrials and Healthcare deals in the mix.

Our Debt Advisory team expects to announce a further senior appointment in the first half of 2020 to reflect the rapid growth in this service line. In 2019 we advised on 24 debt mandates and raised a cumulative £785m of debt facilities for our clients who are principally the mid-market Private Equity funds. The business is led by experienced individuals with many years of frontline banking experience which enables them to offer a clearly differentiated approach to the delivery and execution of debt advisory services.

In September we will be celebrating our 10th Anniversary, and are looking forward to marking this special milestone with all the people who have helped us build Spectrum over the last decade.


A Selection of 2019 Lead Advisory Deals:

1. Public to Private of Murgitroyd plc by Sovereign Capital
2. Sale of Hurley Palmer Flatt Group to HDR Inc
3. Sale of Amberjack to LDC
4. Sale of Automated Services Group to Primary Capital
5. Sale of Lewmar Marine to Lippert Components Inc
6. Merger of ConversionWorks with MightyHive, owned by S4 Capital PLC
7. Acquisition of Auriga Consulting by The Cyberfort Group and Palatine Private Equity
8. Sale of Tectrade to Computer Systems Integration Ltd
9. Buy-back of Create Fertility into private ownership
10. Sale of Integra Community Living Options to National Care Group


The Spectrum Team

In 2019, Spectrum was named ‘Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year’ at the Insider South East Dealmakers Awards and ‘Corporate Finance Team of the Year’ at the Thames Valley Deal Awards for the third year running.

We start 2020 having made the shortlist in 6 categories at the Insider South East Dealmakers Awards 2020 – the winners will be announced at a gala dinner tonight (6 February).

We recently announced the promotion of three senior members of the team – Bilal Hasan to Director, Richard Boyden to Associate Director and James Mines to Head of Technology. Bilal, Richard and James have been integral to the success of the transactions they have worked on and the growth of Spectrum, and have received resounding support from their clients and consistent praise for their contribution, expertise and commitment.

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

Mark Farlow joined in March as Managing Director in London. Mark’s appointment was a key hire for Spectrum, being the first Managing Director appointment since the firm was founded in 2010.

We have also added significant resource to our Lead Advisory team in 2019 with Chris Wood, Sanj Benawra, Chris King and Ben Lowe all joining the team from Big Four backgrounds.

Scott Archer joined the team in October as a Manager in the Debt Advisory team. Scott works across all areas of debt advisory projects including presenting client businesses to potential lenders, structuring and debt modelling.

Emmanuel Chaaraoui joined in September as a Research Analyst based in the London office, supporting clients with the detailed preparation of potential buyer reports.

Bruce Dove and Paul Stewart joined us in October as Business Development Directors focused on corporate deal origination.

Our Newest Team Members:

Supporting Private Equity

Spectrum remains strong in our commitment to the Private Equity community and continues to work with PE Houses on a range of both lead (buy-side and sell-side) and debt advisory transactions.

In 2019 Spectrum completed 27 PE Deals and worked with 20 different PE Houses including Sovereign Capital, Primary Capital, LDC, Tenzing, Palatine, Mobeus, Horizon, Silverfleet, CBPE and Alcuin Capital.

The debt advisory team has had another exceptional 12 months supporting Private Equity investors and portfolio companies with funding packages to support acquisitions, working capital, and the refinance of existing debt facilities. Over 80% of Debt Advisory transactions in 2019 have been completed on behalf of Private Equity clients.

A selection of Debt Deals completed in H2 2019:


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