Blake Morgan celebrates a strong year in corporate deal-making and hails a ‘strong pipeline’

Posted on 24th May 2024

Blake Morgan’s corporate team in Cardiff has hailed an “extremely busy” financial year with the market remaining active and a strong pipeline for the new financial year ahead. The team advised 58 transactions during the financial year ended 30 April 2024, with a combined deal value of £380m.

James Williams, Partner and Head of the Wales Corporate team, said:

We have enjoyed an extremely busy period, which is a testament to our team's dedication and our clients' trust in us. The market remains robust, particularly in technology, life sciences, health and social care. Our deep experience and comprehensive support have been crucial in navigating several complex transactions.

Blake Morgan’s Corporate team, one of the most experienced and long-standing in South Wales, supports a broad range of clients on succession planning, acquisitions, disposals, MBOs/MBIs, private equity and venture capital transactions and strategic acquisition programmes. By way of example, the firm’s ability to call upon specialist healthcare lawyers has particularly benefited clients in the health and social care sector, ensuring compliance with increased regulatory requirements.

The firm has also been active in institutional fundraising, advising on over 20 investment transactions in the past year. Notably, the team advised Evertrek on the maiden investment from the new Wales Regional Investment Fund, demonstrating their prowess in early-stage venture capital and PE-backed buyouts.

Notable deals Blake Morgan has advised on during 2023-2024 include: 

  • Alcumus Holdings: Advised on the legal, due diligence and subsequent acquisition of net zero and ESG consultancy business, Planet First.
  • LDC: Advised on the buyout of tech-enabled shipping and marine vessel inspection business, Idwal Marine Services. This transaction was voted Deal of the Year and Private Equity Deal of the Year at the Wales Dealmaker Awards.
  • Caswell Bay Limited: Advised the shareholders on the sale to Aryza Holdings Limited, a leading software solutions provider for the financial services industry.
  • Shufflebottom Limited: Advised the shareholders on the sale to Embrace Steel Group. Shufflebottom is renowned for manufacturing award-winning steel-framed buildings for various sectors.
  • Finest Brands International: Advised the shareholders on selling a majority stake to Irish-based investment group TDL Media.

James Williams added:

Despite a challenging economic environment, the volume of deals remains healthy, and our pipeline for the next year looks strong. However, the trend of extended due diligence and a cautious approach to M&A continues. Corporate buyers with strong balance sheets will likely seize strategic opportunities, less affected by rising interest rates and debt availability issues.

Looking ahead, Blake Morgan remains optimistic about the Welsh investment market, especially with the support from the newly launched Investment Fund for Wales and Cardiff Capital Region and increased interest from a wide range of venture capital and private equity funds. These initiatives are expected to bolster Welsh businesses and drive further growth in 2024.

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