Business advisory firm with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow hails record deal activity

Scottish accountancy and business services group Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) has cheered a record year for deal activity and flagged the prospect of a “fantastic” 2022.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 12:30 pm

Bosses at the Aberdeen-headquartered group, which also has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and London, said 2021 had exceeded previous records in terms of mergers and acquisition activity.

The successful completion of more than 50 transactions, with a combined total deal value in excess of £750 million, represents the highest deal value in the firm’s 20-year track-record in the SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) dealmaking community.

Highlights included supporting Fife’s Donaldson Group with its acquisition of both Stewart Milne Timber Systems, marking the firm’s entry into the timber frame market, and kitchen retailer Kitchens International.

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Douglas Martin, chief commercial officer and head of corporate finance at AAB. Picture: Rory Raitt

In the energy sector, AAB provided advice on Waldorf Energy’s £330 million acquisition of Cairn Energy’s interests in the Catcher and Kraken fields in the North Sea.

Building on its increasing presence in the technology sector, the firm completed 15 deals during 2021, including advising on the sales of Drivercheck to Ebbon-Dacs, Suretec to Telcoswitch and C-SAM to Jonas Software. It also supported a number of fund-raising exercises in the tech sector, including the investments in isol8 by BGF, Forev by Scottish National Investment Bank and Intebloc by Stena Drilling.

Douglas Martin, chief commercial officer and head of corporate finance at AAB, said: “This is an exciting time for us as we continue to build our deal-making presence across the UK.

“We have enjoyed a very successful year on the back of our commitment to expand our geographical and sector coverage in line with the growth plans of the wider AAB Group.

“This achievement is a clear testament to the team’s continued drive, ability and entrepreneurial spirit to initiate and deliver transactions across the UK. Given the fantastic pipeline of deals we have going into 2022, we’re excited about what this year will bring.”

The firm said it had also experienced a record year for transaction support deals, such as supporting GEG Capital with its acquisition of Genesis Personnel and BGF with its investment in Kick ICT.

AAB has some 450 staff, including 28 partners, and a group turnover of about £40 million.

In November, the firm sealed what was billed as a merger with Leeds-based peer Sagars to expand its UK regional presence.

Sagars maintained its own brand following the merger but became part of the AAB group.

Both firms are members of accountancy network Accelerate, and through it to Crowe Global which gives both businesses access to accountancy firms in more than 130 countries.

The tie-up came after AAB previously secured a “significant” investment from a private equity firm to fast-track growth and fund acquisition deals. The group struck the deal with August Equity as it looks to build market share across the Central Belt and further grow in the English market.

Graeme Allan, chief executive at AAB, said: “We have worked closely with the Sagars team over the last ten years, and they are aligned with our way of thinking.”

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