10 of the Most Acquisitive High-Growth Companies in the UK | 2022 Ranking 

10 of the Most Acquisitive High-Growth Companies in the UK | 2022 Ranking 

Farzana Haque, 08 February 2023

While the IPO market in 2022 has struggled to match the highs of 2021 (a mere 10 high-growth companies listing compared to 54 the year before), the acquisition market has so far managed to avoid such a steep drop. Indeed, the IPO market saw a huge decline of 81.5% in 2022 from the previous year, whilst the high-growth acquisition market only dropped by 13.8%.

Despite the fact that M&A often slows down during economic uncertainty, there are still plenty of opportunities in the present climate for ambitious companies looking for deals that could transform their business.

When analysing our data, we found that:

  • 2,548 active high-growth companies have completed an acquisition
  • 5,248 high-growth companies have exited via an acquisition

Here, we’ve looked at the most acquisitive high-growth companies in 2022. And who knows? Perhaps 2023 will see these companies strike again… 

What is an acquisition? 

Acquisition refers to one company buying majority shares in another and in turn, taking control of that company. Reasons for acquiring another company may include diversification, gaining market share and reducing costs.

Top private companies by acquisitions made

We’ve ranked 10 of the most transactional high-growth UK companies by the number of acquisitions made in 2022.


RSK Group 

Sector: Environmental services
Location: Cheshire
2022 high-growth acquisitions: 19

RSK Group, a business that’s been running for over 30 years, offers consultancy and technical services to companies in the engineering and environmental sectors. Impressively, this company has already undertaken two acquisitions in 2023: WysePower, a construction company support provider, and Irish Drilling, a drilling and mineral exploration business. Among the 19 companies acquired by RSK Group in 2022, the common sectors were civil engineering, property management, energy reduction technology and educational services. Taking into account international acquisitions, the company made 36 acquisitions in 2022.

Known 2022 advisors: KBS Corporate, Independence Capital, Acuity Law and Mills & Reeve


Perspective Financial Group

Sector: Financial services
Location: Lancashire
2022 high-growth acquisitions: 10 

Perspective Financial Group provides a range of financial advice services, ranging from retirement planning to personal wealth planning. As a result of its 2022 acquisitions, Perspective has added six new offices and almost 2,500 new clients. CEO Ian Wilkinson told Bdaily News that we can expect the ‘biggest ever pipeline of acquisitions’ in 2023 on both large and small scales. Indeed, Perspective has already made its first acquisition of 2023 in the form of Buckinghamshire-based firm Ian J Hunt Chartered Financial Planners, which added 70 households as new clients for Perspective. 

Known 2022 advisors: DWF



Sector: Digital security
Location: London
2022 high-growth acquisitions: 8

babble provides technology partnerships to businesses using cloud-based technologies within four specific sectors: comms, contact, cyber and mobile. Named the most acquisitive tech company in 2021, babble maintained its buy-and-build strategy in 2022 with an impressive seven tracked acquisitions. babble’s latest acquisition in November 2022 of Chester-based company Vivio is its largest to date. The deal value remains undisclosed.

Known 2022 advisors: James Cowper Kreston, BDO, Gately, Paris Smith and HURST


Howden Group Holdings 

Sector: Insurance services
Location: London
2022 high-growth acquisitions: 7

Howden Group Holdings operates international insurance broking and underwriting services. For Howden, 2022 was a year of international growth, with acquisitions taking place in Australia, France, Italy and Switzerland. Four of its seven acquisitions last year were Italian companies (Assimovie, Nord Est, ASI Insurance Brokers, Tower) making Howden the largest TV and Film production broking house in Italy. Howden’s acquisition of Australian insurance broker, AlphaXO is particularly interesting as Howden held an equity stake in AlphaXO for 10 years before the acquisition. We’ll be keeping a keen eye on Howden’s future equity investments for potential acquisition clues. 

Known 2022 advisors: N/A


Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists 

Sector: Healthcare
Location: West Yorkshire
2022 high-growth acquisitions: 7

Founded in 2004, this Bradford-based company operates an optician and audiology clinic. Armed with a £5m equity investment from BGF Growth Capital in June 2020 to support growth and acquisitions, Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists have been busy expanding their operations throughout the UK. Bayfields’ latest two acquisitions of Robert Stanley and Prism Partnerships, both based in Yorkshire and The Humber, not only strengthens its market position in this region but also brings its number of practices up to 41. Bayfields aims to reach the milestone of 50 practices by the end of 2023, which makes further acquisitions this year an almost certainty. 

Known 2022 advisors: N/A


Phenna Group 

Sector: Business banking
Location: Nottinghamshire
2022 high-growth acquisitions: 7

Phenna Group operates as a holding company for a range of companies in the Testing, Inspection, Certification, and Compliance (TICC) sector working especially with the built environment, infrastructure and niche industrials. Phenna’s acquisition of Singaporean company, A-Star Testing and Inspection, in February 2022 is particularly interesting as it marks the group’s first venture outside of Europe. 

Known 2022 advisors: Avonhurst, N8 Law, Donovan & Ho, Irwin Mitchell and RSM


Croft Communications 

Sector: Digital security
Location: Hertfordshire
2022 high-growth acquisitions:

Croft Communications provides a range of customised mobile and telecommunication packages for businesses, from cyber security to contact centres. This Deloitte Fast 50 (2013) company has completed seven acquisitions in 2022, all of which were companies based in the East of England. Croft kicked off 2022 with an acquisition of Wardman UK in January; as a result of this acquisition, Croft was able to expand its IT services, adding a Cyber and Managed Service platform. Meanwhile, the last acquisition of 2022, Diacom Networks in October, resulted in an expansion of Croft’s client base. Having already completed a deal this year (Clovertec in January), we will most likely see more acquisitions in the near future from the business. 

Known 2022 advisors: N/A


EFS Global 

Sector: Distribution
Location: Lancashire
2022 high-growth acquisitions: 6

EFS Global runs a group of 25+ companies that provide distribution services for SMEs via air, road, rail and sea, as well warehousing and storage. Having secured £875k in crowdfunding in February 2019, EFS Global has gone on to acquire 13 companies, with the majority of them occurring last year. The latest acquisition of Floryn Group in December 2022, has meant a strategic geographical expansion for EFS. Moreover, the Floryn Group provide fulfilment services, something EFS hope to add to its service offerings. 

Known 2022 advisors: Davis Blank Furniss and Pierce Chartered Accountants 



Sector: Adtech
Location: Berkshire
2022 high-growth acquisitions: 5

CitNOW is an Adtech company that creates marketing videos for the automotive sector to enable consumers to preview cars and dealership inventory from their computers. The company closed an equity round in July 2022, where it took an undisclosed amount from Livingbridge and Tenzing PE to accelerate its acquisitive strategy across the UK and Europe. With three of its five acquisitions of 2022 being of UK-based companies, we predict 2023 acquisitions will be more Europe-heavy. 

Known 2022 advisors: Osborne Clarke


Xeinadin Group 

Sector: Accounting services
Location: London
2022 high-growth acquisitions: 5

Xeinadin Group provides a range of business advisory and accountancy services, including tax planning, payroll assistance and auditing to primarily SMEs. Formed in 2018 from the merger of existing offices, Xeinandin Group took its first and only equity funding in May 2022 from Exponent Private Equity to fund its acquisition strategy. Since then, the company has completed an impressive six acquisitions already, giving strong indications that we could expect more growth through acquisition from the group. The last of the 2022 acquisitions (that of Welsh firm, Graham Paul) has meant the strengthening of healthcare offerings for the Group. 

Known 2022 advisors: N/A

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