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Shepherd and Wedderburn corporate finance team reports 106% deals value growth

Posted: 25th February 2019

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s corporate finance team has reported a bumper year for deals activity, with the value of transactions more than doubling to £8.65 billion.

The team advised on 114 deals globally in the year to December 2018, up from 98 deals in 2017, boosted by a number of notable technology-led transactions, including advising Scotland’s first tech unicorn FanDuel on its sale to Paddy Power Betfair.

The firm also advised on financial technology (fintech) deals with an aggregate value in excess of £650 million, including:

  • Scottish entrepreneur Alf Gordon’s multi-million pound sale of insurance technology group Qdos Holdings to international insurance group, Tokio Marine HCC;
  • Clydesdale Bank’s joint venture with fintech platform Salary Finance to provide innovative lending products; and
  • investment wrap platform Nucleus Financial Group’s £140 million Initial Public Offering.

Other notable tech deals on which Shepherd and Wedderburn’s corporate finance team, which is top ranked in the independent legal directories, acted last year include:

  • television advertising analytics specialist TVSquared’s series B financing; and
  • Epic Games, developer of the hit video game Fortnite, on its acquisitions of Spatial Flow Ltd and Cloudgine Limited – both co-founded by David Jones, co-creator of the Grand Theft Auto video game series.

Corporate deals activity spanned a broad range of sectors in 2018, including media and technology, fintech, insurtech, energy and natural resources, food and drink, hospitality and leisure, life sciences, healthcare, manufacturing and engineering.

Other notable deals completed in 2018 included advising:

  • Cairn Energy on its acquisitions of licence and asset interests from Azinor Catalyst, and on its farmout of a 40% non-operated interest in the Chimera Prospect, all UK Continental Shelf;
  • William Grant & Sons Investments Limited on a distribution and production partnership with Jean-Sébastien Robicquet’s Ampelos SAS in respect of La Guilde Du Cognac products;
  • medical imaging developer DySIS Medical’s £18 million equity funding round; and
  • the Scottish Investment Bank on a range of investments and follow-on investments into a number of tech companies, including the adaptive learning platform CogBooks; photonic component developer Optoscribe; photograph database Instastock; 3D imaging developer Adaptix; and interactive musical device maker, Skoogmusic.

Commenting on 2018 corporate deals, Stephen Trombala, who leads Shepherd and Wedderburn’s corporate finance team, said: “Our team had another very busy year, working on some of the largest and most notable transactions of 2018.

“Activity was led by overseas investors and corporates looking to Scotland and the wider UK market for good quality acquisitions and investment opportunities, notably in the tech/fintech space, which remains particularly buoyant.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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