Surge in Private Equity Deal Activity 2021

Posted on January 24, 2022 By

Private equity transactions on a global scale returned to form in 2021 following the challenges posed by the pandemic, with private equity firms deploying record amounts of dry powder held as they looked to invest cash accumulated during the pandemic.

According to Mergermarket, a record was set for the percentage of M&A deals that involved private equity, with buyouts comprising 27% of global activity in 2021. This totalled 8,548 deals worth $2.1tn, nearly doubling the previous record set in 2007. Deal volume was also staggering, showing a 60% increase year-on-year.

Looking to 2022, it appears that global private equity deals might continue in the same vein, as private equity houses still have approximately $2.3tn of cash reserves. This, coupled with increasingly positive economic conditions such as a brightening global economic outlook, seller-favourable valuations, and low interest rates, are instilling confidence in the market.

Feel like it's a good time to sell?

At Benchmark International, the Transactions Teams stay abreast of industry trends to ensure the best and most suitable deals are completed for clients. As a result, throughout 2021, Benchmark International in the UK and Ireland has completed 18 transactions involving a private equity buyer. These include:

Three separate acquisitions by Phenna Group, backed by Inflexion. The three companies acquired were Facit Testing, Ecology Solutions, and Safety Services (UK).

The acquisition of PBSL Group by an MBI candidate who was backed by private equity firm, Chiltern Capital.

The acquisition of Securi-Flex & Discount Cable Supplies by an MBI candidate who was also backed by private equity firm, Chiltern Capital. While PBSL Group and Securi-Flex & Discount Cable Supplies are two entirely separate companies, Benchmark International facilitated the transaction of both to the same buyer on the same day, demonstrating appetite in the market.

The transaction between 81G Blue and Babble Cloud. Babble is backed by private equity partner, Graphite Capital.

ABI (UK)’s acquisition of Retreat Homes and Lodges. ABI has a long history of private equity investment stretching back to 2011, starting with a management buy-out by LGV Capital. Most recently, CBPE invested in ABI in May 2016 and exited in February 2020 for a 3.0x return. ABI now has a minority equity investment from Pricoa Private Capital.

The transaction between RGM Vent and Foresight Group, leading infrastructure and private equity investment manager.

Aprenda’s acquisition by BRUSH Group. At the same times as the Aprenda acquisition, BRUSH was acquired by North American middle-market private equity firm, One Equity Partners.

The transaction between CompCare Compressed Air and Rubix Group, which is backed by Advent International.

Acora’s acquisition of Westgate IT. Acora is backed by regional mid-market private equity firm, Palatine Private Equity.

The acquisition of Fisher Jones Greenwood by private equity firm Blixt Group, which is looking to build a legal services platform.

The transaction between Capital Network Solutions and Flow Communications (UK). Flow Communications is backed by Maven Capital Partners, a UK leading private equity and property manager.

Daisy Communications’ acquisition of Premier Choice Telecom. Oakley Capital acquired a minority stake in Daisy in July 2009. By the time the company went private in November 2014, its market capital had increased from £204m to £494m. Oakley then reinvested in Daisy in July 2015, following its acquisition of Phoenix IT Group PLC. In January 2021, private equity company Inflexion agreed to acquire a minority stake in the cloud computing unit of Daisy Group in a deal that values the business at more than £1bn.

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The acquisition of Writech Industrial Services & Writech Manufacturing by Waterland Private Equity, marking the buyer’s first platform acquisition in the fire protection industry.

Eirtech Aviation Services acquisition of H4 Aerospace (UK). Eirtech Aviation Services is backed by Vance Street Capital, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm.

The transaction between Elkay Laboratory Products and StoneCalibre. StoneCalibre is an international private equity firm and acquired Elkay Laboratory Products as a bolt-on to its portfolio company, Calibre Scientific.

Chevron Traffic Management’s acquisition of Shift Traffic Events. Chevron is backed by Triton, a private equity firm that invests in medium-sized businesses in northern Europe.

From these deals, Benchmark International has received excellent endorsements from clients:

“Benchmark have been seamless from start to finish, professional all the way through, had our best interests at heart and communication was faultless. Would strongly recommend.”

Brian Impleton, Facit Testing

“Over the years many colleagues and contemporaries voiced strongly that brokers were not to be trusted and that they would take your money and push you into the first offer even if it wasn't a fit for your business.

I might have agreed until I tentatively picked up the phone to Benchmark with trepidation to enquire about the process. From the first discussion with Tony Yerbury, I knew I was in excellent hands and if I was going to choose to use a broker to sell my business it was going to be Benchmark.

Which I did in September 2020. By the October we had agreed the Information Memorandum and Benchmark were exploring multiple potential suitable organisations. By the end of November, 20 plus organisations had shown an interest and of that I’d chosen 8 to progress with. By mid-December we had received 7 offers culminating with accepting an offer by Christmas Eve.

Every step of the way the Benchmark team comprising of the bright, positive and proactive Erica Skittrall, alongside her colleagues Andrew Roberts and Jonathon Parkinson who are both consummate professionals and expert advisors, were by my side making sure that the negotiation was completed in the most fair and equitable way for my business to go on its next journey. By the first week of March 2021, following a short sharp but intensive due diligence process, the business sale was completed. if I had ever doubted using a broker, I am a convert, and if you are wavering to use a broker reach out to Benchmark first. I can't recommend them highly enough.”

Samantha Gibson, 81G

“March 2019 was the day I had my initial meeting with Benchmark and from the moment I met Nick and Jonathon I knew I was making the correct decision in going with Benchmark Int. The process went great throughout and I would definitely recommend Benchmark.”

Raymond Murphy, RGM Vent

“What a fantastic service! We asked Benchmark to test the market for potentially selling our business. A very professional team delivered a good IM that generated 42 enquiries and a completed purchase in less than 7 months. Amazing work and highly recommended.”

Mike Knowles, CompCare Compressed Air


“We recently completed a successful business sale with Benchmark. At all stages they were very professional and managed to negotiate a good deal overall, which was also completed in a good time.”

Russell Wenman, H4 Aerospace (UK)


“We have recently worked with Benchmark over the successful acquisition of our business. The process of selling a business can be complex and an emotional rollercoaster at times! Throughout the process Paul and his team at Benchmark were there to help, assist and support us. I would have no hesitation in recommending their services.”

Nick Stansfield, Premier Choice Telecom

Schedule A Call

Europe: Michael Lawrie at +44 (0) 161 359 4400 /

Americas: Sam Smoot at +1 (813) 898 2350 /

Africa: Anthony McCardle at +27 21 300 2055 / 


Benchmark International’s global offices provide business owners in the middle market and lower middle market with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. To date, Benchmark International has handled engagements in excess of $7B across various industries worldwide. With decades of global M&A experience, Benchmark International’s deal teams, working from 14 offices across the world, have assisted hundreds of owners with achieving their personal objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses.



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