2011 will be remembered, among other things, as being ‘deal shy’ with companies sitting on cash rich balance sheets eschewing the acquisition trail, as the woes of the Eurozone raised the spectre of another global recession. However, despite the wider hiatus in M&A activity, as the newly released Mergermarket League Table of PR Advisers 2011 shows, MHP was particularly active in the midcap marketplace.
Following the merger of Mandate, Hogarth and Penrose in 2010, our first full year of operation saw us finish ranked 6th in the league table of UK PR advisers by deal count, up two places from the 8th place we achieved in 2010. Specific deals that helped us achieve this included:
- Advising Avis Europe on its recommended £636m cash offer from Avis Budget Group Inc.
- Advising Ashmore Group plc on its US$246m acquisition of Emerging Markets Management, L.L.C.
- Working with Eaga plc and the Eaga Partnership Trust on the £306m cash offer from Carillion plc.
- Supporting Cognetas on the €150m sale of Commarco GmbH to WPP.
- Providing communications support to Uniq plc on the restructuring to remove its £400m pension fund deficit and subsequent sale to Greencore Group plc for £113m.
Our international dealflow also increased significantly with our European M&A ranking rising from 12th to 9th in terms of deal volume. Similarly, our activity in the U.S, advising both bidders and targets, ensured that we jumped from 31st to 13th position in the US PR firm M&A rankings.
With the Eurozone crisis showing no tangible signs of reaching a conclusion and concerns remaining over the stability of the nascent recovery in the US, 2012 looks set to be another tough year in terms of M&A. However, despite the headwinds facing the global economy, we are hopeful we can maintain the positive momentum we created in 2011 and build on what was a successful year for MHP.