27.08.2021  // New Name, New Start

A change of brand is a key event for many businesses after executing a corporate carve-out. Whilst it may often be desirable to retain a legacy brand for years to come, this is not always possible. A corporate seller typically, and not unreasonably, requires a buyer to commit to change a shared brand of the acquired business within a fixed period of time. There are many good reasons for this:

18.08.2021  // Bitter Sweet 

During my earlier years in corporate finance, I often had a bitter sweet feeling after a deal completion. It was hugely satisfying to secure an outcome for a client but it also marked the start of a new journey for the business and its management team that I wasn’t part of. Upon moving into private equity this was something I hoped would change with a new investment marking the start of a journey rather than the end of it. With this week’s announcement that we’ve agreed the sale of Office Depot Europe to Raja Group, I can confirm that my hopes have been realised as this exit feels really sweet. 

21.07.2021  // Cry Freedom

With the arrival of “Freedom Day” on 19 July, I have had cause to reflect on what it really means to be free and what changes it will really bring given that “with freedom comes responsibility” (according to Eleanor Roosevelt).

There has been much rhetoric that the final stage in the UK Government’s release from Covid-19 restrictions in England would be a point of no return. We can finally cast off two metres’ social distancing, face masks, WFH would revert to “work from office”, and we would enjoy unrestricted access to restaurants, retailers and leisure facilities, with travel limitations markedly eased. However, my early experience of this new freedom is that it has not heralded much change at all. We have become normalised to keeping our distance and wearing masks, there are not exactly queues round the block to enter venues and travel is arguably more confusing to undertake than ever before!

09.07.2021  // Hostility in Plc takeovers

It’s been hard to ignore the many column inches written about the proposed private equity takeover of Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc (better known as Morrisons). The narrative being trumpeted is that grocers in post Covid Britain are strategic assets that belong to the people, and overseas private equity has no right to take over these businesses.

03.06.2021  // The “Take Private” debate

After the initial lockdown period subsided, private equity groups began to survey the scale of portfolio damage and reassess their investment priorities in a post-Covid world. Whilst this particular pandemic was a “first”, the scale of economic impact was reminiscent of previous crises. This encouraged investors not to take fright but to hunt high and low for value resulting in a quite a remarkable wave of deal activity over the last 12 months. 

05.05.2021  // First 100 days

Last month marked President Biden’s first 100 days in office. 

20.04.2021  // Fund times

After more than 20 years spent around the Private Equity industry as a student, adviser, lender and now investor, it has been a unique experience for me to finally be a fundraiser. 

12.04.2021  // A time to plant

The recent passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his 100th year has trended across the world. Many will take time to come to terms with the loss of Queen Elizabeth II’s consort. Whilst others will reflect on the generational shift in the leadership of Britain’s first family and the impact it will have on this important institution.

25.03.2021  // Tough love

As we mark the first anniversary since the start of the global pandemic it felt timely to reflect on the financial measures taken by the UK government to steer the economy through this difficult storm.

15.03.2021  // One year on

It is poignant on the anniversary of an event to look back and reflect.

02.03.2021  // “Here Comes the Sun”

This past week I have felt a renewed sense of optimism and anticipation for the future. This is no doubt a result of the rapid progress of the UK vaccination programme, the announcement of the long awaited ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, and the unseasonably warm weather has also played its part.

16.02.2021  // “Buy British”

Many of us who have closely observed the corporate finance market over recent years will have taken pride from the almost constant takeover demand there seems to be for UK companies. 

09.02.2021  // A call to arms

Recent events in Myanmar and Russia have reminded me of the many privileges we take for granted living in a Western liberal democracy. Our society is rich with diversity and many people contribute in a positive way to its vibrancy. 

26.01.2021  // Speculative Bubble

There is not a day that goes by without a news headline reminding me that we have enjoyed an unusually lengthy, sustained bull run.

07.01.2021  // The dawn of a new era

As a new year begins, it is timely to reflect on Britain’s new trade deal with the EU as it brings to a close the interminable “Brexit” process and heralds the start of a new relationship. 

18.12.2020  // The emotional rollercoaster

It’s natural at this time of year to become reflective with just days left until the end of 2020. As I look back I am reminded that it has been a remarkable year not least for the range of emotions I’ve experienced in a short space of time...

30.11.2020  // If

It was Rudyard Kipling who in the late 19th Century famously wrote the stirring words “If you can keep your head when all about you others are losing theirs”. 

20.11.2020  // Switch it off and on again

One of the welcome side effects of the pandemic has been the opportunity on a personal and professional level to experience life in slower motion and then take advantage of this as the world recovers and normal life resumes at its usual pace. 

25.09.2020  // The fortunes of war

The oft-used phrase “fortunes of war” inspired a classic series of novels and historical docudrama set in a period of immense upheaval and change. As the pandemic continues to wax and wane, it is timely that we reflect on those who have benefited from events over the last few months and those who have not. Indeed, there is a sense that business has been judged in the last 6 months solely by who emerges stronger or weaker across the economy.

03.09.2020  // Return to Work - New School Rules!

Given a new school year is upon us, there is a sense that Autumn is now in the air. Many office-based businesses have developed return-to-work protocols and are trialing schemes to help their people back into city centres. With that in mind, it felt timely to set out some pointed new “school rules” and observations for those in the Deals market to keep front of mind as we all start out on a new term!