EY teams in the North of England acted on transactions worth a total of almost £650mn in the first quarter of 2023.

Technology investment continued to be a key theme for the region’s deals, as EY’s Transaction Diligence team in Yorkshire provided financial and taxation vendor due diligence to digital transformation consultancy 101 Ways, as Private Equity firm Growth Capital Partners completed a minority investment in the business.

In another tech deal, EY’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) team provided sell-side advice to Teesside-headquartered energy data and analytics provider EnAppSys, as the company was acquired by global Private Equity investment firm The Riverside Company, as an addition to its Montel AS platform.

EY’s M&A team also provided buy-side advice to European Private Equity firm IK Partners for their acquisition of specialist utility and infrastructure support services business Ipsum Group. Completion of the transaction is subject to legal and regulatory approvals.

Louise Smith, co-lead of EY’s Transaction Services team in Yorkshire and the North East, said: “Deal volumes have been limited to a certain extent by the ongoing economic headwinds posing challenges to the mergers and acquisitions market in the early parts of the year. However, it’s pleasing to see that our teams across the North have continued to see demand and activity, playing key roles in a total of nine deals in the first quarter of 2023. The demand we’re continuing to see is testament to the quality and dedication of our teams, and with M&A activity expected to increase later on this year, we’re ready and waiting to help our clients maximise further growth opportunities going forward.”

There was further activity in the technology sector, as EY’s Transaction Services team in the North provided vendor due diligence to AdEPT Technology Group through its sale to telecommunications and technology solutions provider Wavenet. The team also supported Sun European Partners on its acquisition of Bolton-headquartered professional services firm K3 Capital in a deal worth £271.7mn, as well as assisting digital solutions business Miss Group in its continued growth, providing buyside due diligence through the company’s acquisitions of web hosting specialist Sered and domain registrar business Domene.

EY’s Debt Advisory team in Manchester also advised Preston-based recycling and waste management company Recycling Lives Ltd, which is backed by investment house Three Hills Capital Partners, in securing one of the UK’s first sustainability-linked, asset-backed facilities with Natwest Group, highlighting the continued evolution and increasing importance of sustainability in the debt markets.

There was further activity in the waste management sector, as EY also provided sell-side advice to Manchester-based Private Equity firm NorthEdge and its shareholders in the sale of hazardous waste management company Future Industrial Services to waste and resource management group Augean Plc.

Ben Coggin, co-lead of EY’s Transaction Services team in Yorkshire and the North East, added: “As was the case in 2022, firms are continuing to pursue opportunities to invest in technology and tap into digital capabilities. With a focus on technology, we were delighted that our Transaction Diligence team in Yorkshire played an instrumental role in helping Growth Capital Partners’ investment in 101 Ways. We have a promising pipeline of activity, which reflects the investment potential across the North. We’re excited to see how this pipeline develops as the deals market improves later in 2023.”