While the worst of the uncertainty caused by Brexit and COVID-19 may have passed, UK businesses still currently face a huge array of challenges. These crises continue to have lingering effects which companies will have to traverse in the short and medium term.
One of the biggest of these issues is major ongoing supply chain disruption across many industries.
How can M&A help strengthen supply chains?
Major trends in supply chain M&A
Corporate Trade Supplies UK (CTS UK) is a North Yorkshire-based business specialising in workwear, personalised uniforms, promotional products and hygiene products. However, the company has aspirations to become a far more wide-ranging, comprehensive supplier and one of the key ways it is looking to achieve this in 2022 is by using M&A to gain greater control of its supply chain.
In April 2022, CTS UK made a huge stride towards this, acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) brand Safeguard Supplies in a £3 million deal. The deal, described as “game-changing” by managing director Howard Gill, will mean that the company not only rapidly expands its business in the UK, it also means that it is now dealing directly with supplier factories in the Far East, representing a major vertical integration within its supply chain. According to CTS UK founder and Chairman AJ Swinbank, the acquisition is not the last the company will make in 2022. Swinbank said: “This is unlikely to be our last acquisition this year as we look to expand our production arm of the business and tighten control of our supply chains.”
In 2021, Texas-based supply chain technology firm E2open announced that it had agreed a deal to acquire BluJay Solutions, a Manchester-headquartered firm providing cloud-based supply chain software and services, including platforms for freight transport management and global trade compliance.
The deal, valued in total at around $1.7 billion (£1.34 billion) significantly expands E2open’s supply chain offering, adding new services and, perhaps more crucially, deepening its use of technology such as data analytics, enabling greater visibility, improved insights for customers and better decision making.
Commenting on the deal, E2open CEO Michael Farlekas said: “The acquisition of BluJay is a continuation of our strategy to offer the broadest and most data-rich SaaS supply chain platform. The largest and most iconic global brands are re-imagining their supply chains to be more agile, more resilient, and reduce their environmental impact. E2open now offers more extensive capabilities, timely data, and continued innovation to help them accomplish their strategic objectives.”
What issues do companies face as they seek to secure supply chains?
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