Clearwater Corporate Finance has ended its financial year on a high following the completion of 28 deals worth £900m, an increase in value of 100% on the prior year.
The firm achieved a number of successes over the year with key highlights including:
- a high level of cross border deals, particularly with North American purchasers;
- growth in the number of deals involving private equity; and
- increased activity from the firm’s debt advisory practice.
The firm’s international focus continues to mature with 10 cross-border transactions in 2013-14, which represented 70% of all businesses sold by Clearwater to trade buyers. Clearwater has strong relationships with acquirers in North America from where 60% of trade buyers originated. These buyers are proving to be the hungriest for deals because of the confidence and high level of liquidity being enjoyed in that territory. Representative transactions illustrating this trend include the sale of Doorstop International to Masonite, the sale of CSC World to Trimble Navigation and the sale of Amber Chemical to ICM Products.
Private equity continues to be a key source of deal flow for Clearwater with 19 completed transactions, cementing the firm’s position as the Number 1 independent advisor to mid market private equity (source: Unquote Mid Market Barometer, March 2014). Key private equity transactions for Clearwater during the year included YFM’s acquisition of Gill Marine, Kennett Partners investment in Rivo Software and LDC’s MBO of Angus Fire.
Clearwater’s debt advisory practice was involved in 11 transactions, including both new debt for fresh private equity investments and a number of innovative refinancing arrangements for both corporate and private equity backed clients. Major transactions from Clearwater’s debt advisory team included funding for LDC’s investment in leading lifestyle brand Joules, the refinancing of Caravan Park operator Park Resorts and Sovereign Capital’s acquisition of Kindertons Accident Management.
Phil Burns, managing partner at Clearwater Corporate Finance, said: “We are delighted with our performance during the last financial year – there has clearly been a boost in confidence in the marketplace, which has put businesses in a much more comfortable position to capitalise on growth. This has seen our transactional activity increase substantially and our deal pipeline for the remainder of 2014 looks healthy.
“Looking forward, we expect the positive sentiment from trade buyers and private equity investors to continue and clients to benefit from our continued investment in our cross border expertise and sector focus.”