EY’s Yorkshire and North East Transaction Services team acted on deals totaling more than £4bn in 2020.

The team acted on 21 completed deals in 2020, with highlights including listed chemical business Croda’s acquisition of Spanish fragrance manufacturer Iberchem in November and the initial public offering (IPO) of IT security and cloud business Bytes Technology Group in December.

The volume of activity across the technology sector was notable, including Team 17’s acquisition of Yippee Entertainment and MTG’s acquisition of Hutch Games – both gaming industry deals led by Ben Coggin, Strategy and Transactions Director in EY’s Leeds office and Transactions Technology sector lead across Yorkshire and the North East.

Ben Coggin said: “The gaming industry remains fragmented and, with new entrants joining the market, M&A activity is increasing as corporates look to maintain market share and secure skills in an increasingly competitive talent pool. The sector is also attracting the attention of private equity as an increasingly rich gaming ecosystem offers opportunities to develop new revenue channels.”

Mark Allcroft, Strategy and Transactions Partner for EY across Yorkshire and the North East, said: “Technology businesses have performed well and transacted throughout the pandemic, and we were busy throughout 2020. Equally, we’ve seen large corporates look to divest and recycle capital into areas of strategic importance, a trend we anticipate will continue.”

Mark joined EY three years ago (January 2018) to build its Yorkshire and North East Transaction Services team and has since grown the team by six people and supported clients on close to 70 deals.

Mark Allcroft said: “I couldn’t be more pleased with what we’ve achieved in such a short timeframe. We continue to invest to strengthen the team and their skill set, specifically in the area of data analytics; nothing new there, but when approached in the right way with the right skill set this absolutely enhances the level of insight we provide and adds velocity to the transaction process; in today’s market, this is a ‘must have’ capability, not a ‘nice to have’.

“The appointments of Adam Barraclough and Alex Fogal provide even greater reach into the local marketplace, who despite being confined to ‘home office’ have a made a huge contribution already and long may that continue

EY has already supported on three deals which have been announced since the start of 2021. It supported Elaghmore on the acquisition of Orchard House Fruits, advised on the LDC-backed merger of Lomond Capital with Harrogate-headquartered Linley & Simpson to create a national lettings and estate agency group, and supported Care Capital on its acquisition of Neoss.

Mark Allcroft said: “Looking to the year ahead, I expect the deal volumes to remain high, despite the ongoing uncertainty presented by the pandemic.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the team and the very warm reception we’ve had from the many clients we’ve been lucky to work with. Needless to say, this is not down to individuals but the whole team, which is a credit to EY. The team has worked tirelessly, with good humor and commitment, during a period that has presented so many practical and personal challenges; it’s not been easy by any stretch and my thanks go to each and every one of them.”