Steve O'Hare
Mark Lane

Member Article

Yorkshire buyout market shows signs of recovery

Yorkshire’s deal market has made a promising start to the year, with the highest value of first quarter private equity buyouts since the start of 2008, according to the latest data from the Centre for Management Buyout Research (CMBOR), sponsored by Equistone Partners Europe and Ernst & Young.

The first three months of 2013 saw four deals, worth a total of £714m. This compares with just two deals, worth a total of only £4.5m, in the same period last year.

Yorkshire’s first quarter was bolstered by the £400m sale of Harrogate-based hotel and conference chain Principal Hayley to US buyer Starwood Capital in February.

Another notable transaction included the sale of Jemella Group, which trades under the ghd haircare brand, by Montagu Private Equity to Lion Capital, in a deal valued at £300m.

Out of 33 private equity buyouts in the UK, worth £3.2bn, six were in manufacturing (worth £418m), six were in business and support services (£498m), five were in retail (£1.2bn) and four were in leisure (£791m).

Steve O’Hare, director of Equistone Partners Europe in the North, said: “Deal volumes have shown good recovery since 2008, demonstrating the confidence of funders and private equity investors in Yorkshire-based businesses.

“The recovery this quarter after a disappointing last three months of 2012 is an encouraging start to the year for the region.

“We continue to see high quality business with skilled management teams in the region, which is encouraging for future deal volumes.

“The quality of UK assets remains attractive to overseas buyers as we have seen with the sale of Principal Hayley to a US buyer.”

Mark Clephan, a director and private equity specialist at Ernst & Young, said: “The first quarter of 2013 saw the completion of two large and high profile private equity deals in Yorkshire and Humberside, namely ghd and Rosemount. These deals were advised locally and are an encouraging sign of things to come for the remainder of the year.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Mark Lane .

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