Electric Business

A brief summary of business news to keep you informed on company start-ups, corporate downsizing and mergers and acquisitions.

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Portus Consulting joins Aon Employee Benefits

Professional services multinational Aon has acquired Portus Consulting, a UK-based employee benefits firm specialising in SMEs with 50-750 employees and the legal sector. Portus will join Aon Employee Benefits, which provides consultancy, broking services and technology to 2,500 corporate clients, covering over a million people in the UK.

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Allen Ford snaps up Slough Motor Company

Allen Ford has continued its expansion with the purchase of Slough Motor Company (SMC) for an undisclosed sum. The deal is the second completed by Allen Ford in the last couple of months, following its takeover of Essex Auto Group in March. The expanded group will now represent the Ford brand in 24 locations, followed by the Kia brand in four, Suzuki in two and Mazda and Fiat in one each.

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Cape accepts £332.2m takeover offer from Altrad

The share price for oil services company Cape has shot up following its agreement of terms for a £332.2m takeover deal with French construction equipment giant Altrad. Altrad’s offer amounts to 265p per share, a 46% premium on the company’s closing price on 6 July. Cape’s share price shot up to meet this valuation in the day following. Cape provides maintenance services to industrial clients including oil refineries, offshore rigs, LNG plants and power stations across the UK, Middle East, Australia and Asia.

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Sports Direct buys 25.75% stake in Game Digital

Sports Direct has bought a 25.75% stake in Game Digital, the troubled videogame retailer. Shares in Game dropped more than 30% in a single day in June when it was forced to issue a profit warning, due in part to a supply shortage in the new Nintendo Switch consoles. Game has stated that it ‘looks forward to working collaboratively with Sports Direct to explore the clear opportunities that a constructive partnership and collaboration can deliver’.

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Bowdraper makes tidy deal for Orion Cleaning

Bowdraper, a provider of cleaning services to offices, schools and colleges, has expanded with the takeover of Orion Cleaning Company. Bowdraper is one of the leading contract cleaning companies in the Midlands, further improving this coverage with the purchase of the Sutton Coldfield-based firm.

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1pm buys Positive Cashflow Finance

1pm has taken over Positive Cashflow Finance, a fellow provider of invoice finance facilities based in Manchester. Positive Cashflow generated revenues of £4.1m with a pre-tax profit of £1.1m in 2016. The £9m deal will see the transfer of some 24 employees and 190 customers to 1pm’s roster.

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Berck acquires MoD supplier Fourjay

West Bromwich based metal pressings and sub-assemblies manufacturer Berck has acquired Fourjay, a presswork firm based in Aldridge. The acquisition will support Berck as it enters a new market in the defence sector, supplying fuses for the Eurofighter and F-16 fighter jets. Berck will utilise Fourjay’s deep drawing expertise and experience as a supplier to the Ministry of Defence.

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Next 15 gathers momentum with Velocity deal

Next 15 has announced that it has acquired Velocity Partners, a B2B digital agency with a focus on technology clients. The £5.9m investment is aimed at improving Next 15’s data-driven content marketing capabilities, which is currently the fastest growing element of the marketing mix. Velocity Partners caters to clients that include technology multinationals such as Sprint, Xerox and Informatica. Although based in London, 70% of its revenues came from US-based companies in the last financial year.

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C2events acquires Five Hats

C2events has acquired Five Hats, an event management agency that caters to the global pharma industry. The deal strengthens C2events’ existing healthcare event management capabilities and services, and falls in line with a 5 year strategy that will see the company invest in key areas such as training and development, compliance, ToV reporting, IT and finance systems.

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Biffa Waste Services buys O’Brien WRS

Biffa Waste Services has agreed to take over O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions for a cash consideration of £35.2m. O’Brien WRS operates from three locations in Newcastle, Sunderland and Teesside, recycling waste for clients that include British Steel, Fujifilm and Siemens. O’Brien WRS employs 190 people and processes approximately 350 tonnes of waste every hour.

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