2018: Top Track 250

Mon, 08 Oct 2018 | BUSINESS NEWS

It's often difficult for businesses to achieve growth organically, which is why the mergers and acquisition market is often the way forward. In 2018, businesses boomed thanks to numerous M&A deals across international platforms. Profits are at a record-high of £6.4 billion (up 27 percent) with the Top Track 250 companies, a ranking of Britain's private mid-market growth companies by sales.

Produced by Oxford research firm Fast Track, the Top Track 250 list published by The Sunday Times shows sales figures in the range of £110 million to £700 million. Take a look at the success stories of five of the top performers who have made it this year through acquisitions.

NG Bailey
Coming up in 28th place is NG Bailey, a mechanical and electrical engineering service established in West Yorkshire in 1921. Amongst numerous projects to its name is the design and construction of Manchester University's engineering campus, and London Bridge's rail control centre. In April this year, it acquired Freedom Group (which maintains the country's electrical network infrastructure) to continue its strong growth in engineering services, which has allowed the company to see a surge in sales to £481 million.

Turner & Townsend
Leeds-based construction consultancy Turner & Townsend experienced a sales growth of 12 per cent to £548.7 million, allowing the company to settle well into 19th place. Its specialised functions are real estate, infrastructure and the natural resources sector, with projects happening all around the world. Presently, the company is assisting the development of HCL’s IT campus in Lucknow, India and has benefited from acquisitions like Mentor Management in Nairobi, Kenya to boost its portfolio.

Virgin Active
Founder and chief executive Matthew Bucknall leads this London-based business, which falls into 15th place in the Top Track 250 list. In 2015, South African private equity firm Brait purchased an 80 per cent stake in the company from CVC Capital Partners, pushing Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group’s stake down to 20 per cent to value the company at £1.3 billion. With 233 health clubs in four continents and sales at £580.2 million, the business has experienced a 13 per cent growth.

Holland & Barrett
In 6th place is this supplement and health food retailer, which has 1,368 stores in 13 countries and shelves over 9,000 different products. Most recently, Holland & Barrett expanded its market into the Nordic regions with the acquisition of Halsa for Alla, allowing the company to experience sales of £655.5 million and a 7 per cent growth in profits. The company is owned by investment fund L1 Retailer, which purchased it for £1.8 billion in August last year from The Carlyle Group.

The Watches of Switzerland Group
Coming in at Number 1 is The Watches of Switzerland Group, which is most famously known for its Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths and both online and retail Watches of Switzerland shops. Although the group was only formed in 2006 following the merger of its three largest brands, its claim is that it sells just under 50 per cent of all Rolexes sold in the UK. In recent years the company has grown through a number of acquisitions which have helped boost sales by 21 per cent to £685.2 million, further allowing profits to rise by 36 per cent.

Want to know more about what's happening with UK businesses? Check out our other news stories here.

Share this article

Latest Businesses for Sale

Commercial Gas Contractor
South East, UK

A highly successful Commercial Gas Business based in the South East. Excellent opportunity for an existing Commercial Gas Contractor looking to add B2B clients or expand to South East region. Blue chip commercial gas contractor. Offers invited.

Asking Price: Offers Invited
Turnover: £1,600,000

Self Storage Business
North of England, UK Wide

Long established Independently owned Storage business located close to 2 motorway junctions. Close to principal Northern City Centre and in easy reach of central business area. Well laid out Complex with extensive on site parking. Offers invited.

Asking Price: £1,100,000
Turnover: £300,000


Independent Garage: MOT & Vehicle Services
UK Wide

Provides a comprehensive service offering for industrial,commercial and private clients across a diverse range of sectors.Its highly trained MOT Testers and Technicians ensure that clients receive thorough consultation and post-test advice Some staff...

Asking Price: Offers Invited
Turnover: £501,000


View more businesses for sale

News Search

Latest News


Addison Lee acquired by consortium of investors | BUSINESS SALE

Addison Lee Group, London’s biggest private care hire ...


Leicestershire building products firm enters administration | ADMINISTRATION

Leicestershire-based System Building Products Limited has en...


Kaupthing plans sale of Oasis and Warehouse | BUSINESS SALE

Icelandic-owned UK women’s fashion retailers Oasis and...

Free guide: 10 Biggest Buyer Mistakes

Sign up to receive our acquisition alert emails to get your FREE guide


Related News


Health company acquires mint and gum maker | BUSINESS SALE

Newcastle-under-Lyme-headquartered health group Health Made ...


Superdrug owner makes bid for Holland & Barrett | DIVISION SALE

The company behind Superdrug has made an indicative offer fo...


Buyers sought for Royal Warrant-holder builder | BUSINESS SALE

An historic Royal Warrant-holder building firm WS Lusher & S...

Want access to the latest businesses for sale?

Business Sale Report is your complete solution to finding great acquisition opportunities.

Join today to receive:

  • Comprehensive range of businesses for sale
  • Make direct contact with business sellers or their intermediaries
  • Access to all UK administrations, liquidations and winding-up petitions
  • Daily email alerts for the latest businesses for sale & distressed notifications
  • Business Sale Report publication posted to you every month
  • Advertise your acquisition requirements on our "business wanted" section

All this and much more, including the latest M&A news and exclusive resources