Grant Thornton UK LLP’s Thames Valley Corporate Finance team has completed on three transactions to US private equity-backed companies within the first quarter of 2022, as activity levels continue to remain strong after a record 2021.
The first of the three deals is the sale of international development consultancy IMC Worldwide, as it joins the DT Global family, a US leader in the international development market. In the UK, IMC Worldwide will retain its name and brand, expanding DT Global’s geographic reach and deepening the wider group’s expertise in infrastructure, climate change and other leading development issues.
“We are delighted to be joining DT Global and see this partnership to be an excellent opportunity for both organisations and all staff”, said Gavin English, Managing Director, IMC Worldwide.
He added “This coming together of two great international development companies creates a highly synergetic global unit. IMC Worldwide employees will become part of a rapidly growing, like-minded organisation and the DT Global family will gain from IMC Worldwide’s professional can-do work culture, strong client base, broad geographic spread, and extensive experience and knowledge in international development.”The second deal saw global technology marketing agency bChannels sold to another private equity backed US-buyer The Channel Company.
Headquarted in Oxford, bChannels provides digital marketing services and customer engagement strategies to global technology companies, including AWS, Fujitsu, Microsoft and Xerox. With this strategic acquisition, premier provider of news, The Channel Company, will scale its full portfolio of services worldwide, adding new data-driven capabilities to expand partner networks and drive revenue.
Phil Gowing, Group CEO and Founder of bChannels, said: “bChannels and The Channel Company share a similar culture of client excellence, innovation, and deep technology channel expertise. We also share the vision to offer the most powerful suite of services for the technology industry in any market across the globe.”
Third, and finally, Grant Thornton advised on the sale of the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) – a biologics development and manufacturing facility currently under construction near Oxford – to biopharma, cell, gene and consumer health partners Catalent.
The US firm plans to invest up to £120m to complete the building of the facility and equip it with state-of-the-art capabilities for the development and manufacture of biologic therapies and vaccines, with more than 400 jobs to be created.
“This deal ensures the VMIC site, when completed, will stay true to the original purpose of strengthening the U.K.’s vaccine manufacturing capability by bringing innovation to the sector and getting more vaccines to the clinic,” said Professor Robin Shattock, Chair of the Board of Directors of VMIC.
Nigel Le Bas, Corporate Finance Director at Grant Thornton, said: “Last year, at Grant Thornton we noted a marked uptick in overseas trade buyers, especially from the US, acquiring UK assets and competing very strongly with private equity. We are continuing to see these trends in the first quarter of 2022.
Gareth Davies, Corporate Finance Director, TMT, at Grant Thornton, said: “The cluster of the UK’s fast growing and innovative mid-market technology focused businesses continues to grow at an exponential rate, and with it, the interest from international buyers and private equity, that shows little sign of wavering. This continues to provide a strong pipeline of activity as Grant Thornton’s Corporate Finance team looks forward to the next quarter.”