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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Chenery Maher merges with Harrison Drury

Cumbria and Lancashire-based law firm Harrison Drury has merged with Ribble Valley practice Chenery Maher. The deal will bring the number of staff at Harrison Drury’s Clitheroe office up to 19 and enhance its Home and Family Service in particular. Chenery Maher partners Irene Chenery and Carol Maher will continue to work as consultants for the firm.

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Safeskys lands deal with Air Partner

SafeSkys, a provider of air traffic control services to airports, has been bought by Air Partner. SafeSkys will be integrated into Air Partner’s consulting and training division.

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Kingfisher Lighting consolidates with Luceco

Luceco has bought Kingfisher Lighting, a Telford firm with a turnover of £12m. The deal insures Kingfisher from an industry that is increasingly being disrupted by new technologies, particularly LED and IoT. Its consolidation with Luceco’s growing group will allow Kingfisher to continue to invest in exterior lighting, complementing Luceco’s expertise in LED products. Kingfisher will retain its Nottinghamshire head office and management team as it works on integrating the business.

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Zoopla takes over Money.co.uk

The financial services comparison website Money.co.uk has been taken over by Zoopla. The £80m deal is part of Zoopla’s aim to offer a full range of services across its platforms, and includes an additional performance-based pay-out of up to £60m.

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56 jobs saved at TT Express Haulage

KPMG has sold transport and logistics specialist TT Express Haulage out of administration to an unnamed buyer, saving 56 jobs. TT Express Haulage is based in Oldham and responsible for distribution for several blue chip clients.

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The Hut Group announces ESPA acquisition

The Hut Group has announced the acquisition of ESPA, a global leader in beauty treatments and skincare with over 700 spas in 50 countries. As well as having concessions in hotels across the world, the company sells its own products online and in luxury retail outlets such as John Lewis, Liberty London and Harvey Nichols. All new product development and manufacturing is done at ESPA’s own facility in the UK. The investment further expands THG’s Beauty offering and international reach, building upon its recent acquisition of companies such as Glossybox.

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Varsity Tutors kickstarts international expansion with First Tutors deal

US business Varsity Tutors has acquired First Tutors in its bid to expand internationally. Based in Preston, First Tutors offers an online service that enables students to connect with tutors for a fee and then continue a relationship offline. Varsity Tutors’ first step will be to integrate its more sophisticated platform with the business, which can connect students with experts on 1,000 different subjects within 20 seconds. The deal greatly expands Varsity Tutors’ network, which currently has 30,000 tutors on its books growing to around 180,000 following this deal.

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Bytes Technology buys Phoenix Software

Bytes Technology Group UK, a subsidiary of Altron Group, has acquired IT reseller Phoenix Software for around £36m. Phoenix has a presence on all the main Framework Agreements for Public Sector procurement in the UK and is provider of end-to-end solutions including software licensing, software asset management and IT services. Phoenix is based in York and has an annual turnover of approximately £130m. The combined enterprise will have a turnover of £400m and a headcount of around 480 staff.

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British Steel acquires Dutch steel maker

British Steel has completed its first acquisition since its rescue last year with FNsteel, a Dutch steelmaker specialising in the production of premium wire rod products. The purchase diversifies and enhances British Steel’s offering and value chain with new products and a customer base in the European automotive, construction and engineering industries. FNsteel employs 300 people at its wire rod mill in Ablasserdam and has an annual turnover of £133m.

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Full steam ahead on Alstom and Siemens rail merger

Alstom and Siemens have signed an MoU to create a ‘European rail champion.’ The deal has been described as a Franco-German merger of equals, to be headquartered and led by Alstom in France with 50% shares of the combined business owned by Siemens. Alstom develops and markets systems, equipment and services with an emphasis on sustainable mobility for the transport sector, while Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission, infrastructure, automation, drive and software solutions to the industry. Siemens Alstom’s combined revenue is €15.3m with an adjusted EBIT of €1.2bn, and the group expects to find annual synergies of €470m in four years following the close of the deal. Altogether the new entity employs 62,300 people across 60 countries.

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