Its official: Yorkshire leads the North in private equity deals

Richard Flint, chief executive of Sky Bet
Richard Flint, chief executive of Sky Bet
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THE value of Yorkshire’s private equity buyout market reached £1.4bn in the first half of 2015, its highest half-year deal value this decade.

Latest data published by the Centre for Management Buyout Research, shows that the region has completed nine deals so far this year, four of which count among the top 20 highest-value deals in the UK.

These figures were dominated by Sky’s £720m sale of its Leeds-based betting arm to CVC in March.

More recently, the Wakefield-headquartered discount retailer Poundworld was sold to US private equity firm TPG for £150m.

A number of high-value exits have also bolstered Yorkshire’s position, including the float of Doncaster-based furniture chain DFS which valued the company at £543m in March. Yorkshire’s total deal value was only surpassed by London and the South East, which have shown the greatest cumulative deal value at £2.6bn and £2.3bn respectively.

Andi Tomkinson, investment director at Equistone Partners Europe in the North of England, said: “The Yorkshire deal market has performed exceptionally well in the first half, with a number of high-value deals that have helped it become the leading region in the North for private equity buyouts.

“The number of significant transactions in the region shows that we’re still very much in a buoyant market and it’s positive to see that the appetite for assets in Yorkshire remains high.”

Overall, the UK remains Europe’s most active market for private equity, with the highest total for exits (£21.6bn) and buyout deals (£10.5bn).

The UK also had the greatest number of buyout deals (101) and exits (92) for the half year, with the French a distant second.