H1 2023: The Exit Environment  

Farzana Haque, 10 August 2023

With H1 2023 coming to an end and our flagship Equity Investment Market Update published, we wondered what the exit environment has been like thus far this year. While there have been no IPOs of UK companies this half, that doesn’t mean exit activity has been quiet. In fact, there have been a total of 569 acquisitions of UK private companies already. 

Who has been active in the market? And what companies have been acquired to far? We’ve dug into the data and spotlighted three interesting acquisitions so far in 2023 to show you what’s going on behind the scenes. 

The data 

Where are the acquiring companies based? 

Stage of evolution of acquired companies

The most common stage of evolution for acquired companies is the established phase. This aligns with the trend of acquisitions serving as a favoured exit strategy as companies mature and shareholders seek to cash out. Notably, this half saw a considerable portion (23.5%) of acquired companies in the venture stage. This is likely caused by well-established firms seeking to grow and expand by acquiring earlier-stage companies. 

Spotlight on acquisitions so far in 2023 


Mr & Mrs Smith 

Mr & Mrs Smith operates a boutique hotel booking website, featuring anonymous reviews. Founded in 2002 by Tamara Lohan, Edward Orr and James Lohan, the company had raised £6.24m across three rounds prior to its acquisition. It was acquired by Hyatt Hotels Corporation in June for £53.0m. Mr and Mrs Smith was advised by Arrowpoint Advisory and Fieldfishers whilst Hyatt Hotels Corporation was advised by Credit Suisse and Linklaters LLP. 



cushon (formerly Smarterly) operates a comparison website for investment funds and ISAs. The company was founded in 2017 by Ben Pollard and Philip Hollingdale and had raised £52.9m across six equity rounds. cushon has even acquired three companies itself with the most recent one occurring in January 2022. The company was acquired by the NatWest Group in June for a consideration of £144m. 


Heatmiser UK 

Heatmiser UK manufactures and sells smart thermostats and other heating control products. This 1968-founded, Blackburn-based company was acquired by IMI in January this year. At the time of the acquisition, Heatmiser UK was valued at £110m. The deal was advised by RSM UK and legal firm, DLA Piper. 



Trunki designs, manufactures and retails travel products for children, such as suitcases and booster seats (mostly under the “Trunki” brand). Trunki’s founder Robert Law was famously rejected from Dragon’s Den when he pitched for a £100k investment back in 2006. The company was acquired for a sum of £12.0m by global branding group, HEROS. The deal was advised by Burges Salmon.

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