2016 was a fascinating year. The long term consequences for the UK and Scottish economies remain unclear but we remain positive on the outlook for deal making. We can look back on 2016 as one of the busiest years for our transaction teams in Scotland. We continue to work closely with business owners and investors to help navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead. The initial signs for 2017 remain positive with our people fully engaged supporting clients to make deals happen.
- In 2016 BDO advised on 14 completed deals in Scotland with a total value of over £360 million
- Over 40% of our deals involved private equity
- Over one third of our deals were in Tech
- Most active adviser in Scotland for both M&A and due diligence services since 2012 (Experian Market IQ)
- Ranked top 5 most active adviser worldwide for both M&A and due diligence services (Mergermarket; Thomson Reuters 2016 league tables)
- Awarded Due Diligence provider of the Year at the Unquote British Private Equity Awards 2016
- Invested heavily in our offering, doubling the size of our team in 2016.
BDO provides end-to-end advisory support on Corporate Finance deals. Our fully integrated service includes specialists from our M&A Advisory, Transaction Services and Tax teams. We work with sellers, strategic buyers, private equity and lenders across the full spectrum of transactions, domestically and internationally.
“Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, I am pleased that 2016 was another strong year for our M&A Advisory and Transaction Services teams. We have invested in our teams by bringing in some new talent to meet the higher level of activity. Whilst we continue to support clients across a broad range of industries, the number of deals in tech demonstrates the strength of Scotland’s thriving tech sector. A particular highlight was acting on the IPO of FreeAgent – the first AIM listing in Scotland since 2012. We look forward to the rest of 2017 with confidence.”
Neil McGill, Head of M&A Scotland
2016 Deal Highlights
£34m AIM IPO FreeAgent
BDO acted as reporting accountant for the £34m AIM IPO of FreeAgent, the first Scottish AIM IPO since 2012. FreeAgent provides cloud-based Software-as-a-Service accounting software and mobile applications that are designed for UK micro-businesses. Read more
“Our AIM IPO was a major milestone for the business. The BDO Transaction Services team guided us through the transaction with great expertise, professionalism and minimal fuss. They were a pleasure to work with. They set expectations clearly, were very responsive and addressed key issues early in the process. The deal went much more smoothly than I could ever have imagined and that was in no small part due to the team at BDO.”
Katherine Tenner, CFO, FreeAgent Holdings plc
Sale of Spencerfield Spirit Company to Ian MacLeod Distillers
Spencerfield Spirit Company Limited owns a portfolio of gin and whisky brands including 'Edinburgh Gin’. BDO assisted and advised the vendors in completing the sale of 100% of the share capital to Scottish based spirit company Ian MacLeod Distillers Limited. Read more
“BDO ran a very high quality and efficient sell-side process. Their attention to detail and understanding of buyer dynamics ensured that we remained a step ahead throughout the process and ultimately delivered a great result for the family shareholders. It was a pleasure to work with the BDO team.”
Alex Nicol, Director and Shareholder, SSC
Acquisition of First eBusiness by Incremental Group, backed by Maven Capital
BDO provided M&A advisory, financial due diligence and tax services to IT and digital services company Incremental Group, backed by Maven Capital, on the acquisition of First eBusiness Solutions Ltd (FeB). FeB is an award-winning Microsoft Dynamics ERP and infrastructure specialist. Read more
“From the very first meeting with the BDO team to set out our vision to build a new UK-wide digital services business, we quickly realised that it was a team that understood the technology market in the UK and one that would be a valuable partner to us in delivering that vision over the coming years.
The BDO team stood alongside us through what was a roller coaster of a journey and were instrumental in getting the initial MBI transaction over the line. Their understanding of seller dynamics, quality of advice, pragmatic approach and professionalism in controlling the process from start to finish were key facets that ultimately contributed to the successful completion of the deal. It was a pleasure to work with the team and we now have an advisory partner that will be with us for the whole journey.”
Stuart Kerr, CFO, Incremental Group
Acquisition of Arthur McKay & Co by Servest Group
BDO provided financial and tax due diligence services to Servest, the building services and facilities management group, on its acquisition of Arthur McKay & Co Limited. Arthur McKay is one of the UK’s leading providers of building support services, specialising in the provision of mechanical & electrical and facilities management services. Read more
“We identified Arthur McKay as a very strong business in our industry, with an excellent reputation and are delighted to have finalised the acquisition, to welcome them into the Servest group. We appointed BDO to carry out the financial and tax due diligence and, as is always the case, we were very impressed with the quality of their work and the high standard of their report and recommendations. We would not hesitate in using BDO to advise us on our next transaction.”
Daniel Dickson, Managing Director, Servest Group
Sale of Gold Standard Simulations to Synopsys Inc.
Gold Standard Simulations is an innovative software company offering best in class simulation tools, expertise and services to the worldwide semiconductor market. BDO assisted and advised the shareholders in completing the sale of 100% of the share capital to Synopsys Inc, a $9bln market cap company and a world leader in silicon design. Read more
Acquisition of Taylor and Goodman Limited by Parsons Peebles Limited
BDO provided financial and tax due diligence services to Parsons Peebles Group (“PPG”), the Scottish-based manufacturer of electric motors and generators, on the acquisition of Taylor and Goodman. PPG is backed by Clyde Blowers Capital. Taylor and Goodman focuses on services for the water sector and operates at the cutting edge of engineering. This is the third bolt-on deal for PPG on which BDO has advised after the acquisitions of Preformed Windings and Anstee and Ware
Sale of Macrae and Dick to Park’s of Hamilton
The BDO M&A team advised the shareholders of Macrae and Dick Limited on the sale of 100% of their shares to Park’s of Hamilton (Holdings) Limited for an undisclosed fee. Macrae & Dick is Scotland’s longest established motor retail group, with a focus on high quality service. Read more
Acquisition of Cristie Data by iomart plc
BDO provided financial and tax due diligence services to iomart plc, on the acquisition of Cristie Data. Cristie Data is a UK data backup and storage specialist. iomart plc is a leading cloud hosting company and is listed on AIM. BDO has advised iomart on 9 acquisitions in the last 4 years.
£112.5m acquisition of 6-9 Buckingham Gate by Tai United Holdings
BDO provided financial and tax due diligence and tax structuring services to Tai United Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed group, on the acquisition of high-end residential development at 6-9 Buckingham Gate next to Buckingham Palace.