Private equity firms made £10.1bn of corporate carve-out acquisitions in the UK last year, up from just £765m in 2019 as the Covid-19 pandemic drove more corporates to sell non-core business units, according to new data shared with City A.M. this evening.

The economic disruption of the past year has forced many large businesses to focus on their core operations to a much greater extent, leaving them much more open to sales of less strategically-important business units, law firm Mayer Brown said.

The legal giant found that private equity funds with significant capital to deploy have been a major beneficiary of corporates’ increased interest in divestments and have frequently been bidders in these auctions.

This includes large US private equity houses, who were involved in all four of the UK corporate carve-out deals worth more than £1bn concluded by PE buyers in 2020, inlucding Viridor Waste Management, bought by KKR and Hermes from Pennon for £4.2bn, Coty, acquired by KKR for £2.1bn, the infrastructure division of GTT Communications, snapped up by I Squared Capital for £1.6bn, as well as CDK Global’s international unit, for which Francisco Partners paid about £1.1bn.

Read more/Source: City A.M.