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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Briggs Equipment acquires Irish Lift Trucks

Briggs Equipment has bought Irish Lift Trucks, a Dublin based dealer of Hyster forklifts, pallet stackers and other materials handling equipment. The acquisition of ILT consolidates Briggs Equipment’s position as a market leading Hyster dealer, and allows it to retain an EU presence while uncertainty in the UK economy lingers on.

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Endless backs MBO at Sewtec Automation

Endless has backed a management buyout at Sewtec Automation, a £22m turnover robotics specialist based in Yorkshire. With exports making up 85% of its sales, Sewtec solves production and packaging challenges for companies in the food, pharmaceutical, personal care and tobacco sectors around the world. Endless cites the trend of increased automation in manufacturing as part of the rationale for their investment.

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Stonegate beats Deltic Group to Revolution Bars

Stonegate Pub Company has beat out interest from Deltic Group to acquire Revolution Bars for £101.5m. Stonegate will acquire the entire issued share capital of Revolution Bars Group for 203p per share, a premium of 62% on its closing share price on 28 July. Headquartered in Luton, Stonegate is the fourth largest managed pubs company in the UK with 689 sites and 13,100 employees nationwide. Revolution Bars Group owns 68 establishments in towns and cities across the UK, focusing on students and young professionals with a premium drinks and cocktails offering.

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Morson Group acquires IT recruiter The Bridge

Morson Group has acquired The Bridge (IT Recruitment) Limited. Morson is the UK’s leading technical recruiter and project management company, with a turnover in excess of £800m and a presence across the globe in sectors ranging through aerospace, defence, energy, infrastructure, IT, rail and oil & gas. The Bridge is based in Leeds and becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Morson Group with this deal.

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Total buys Maersk Oil to become second largest North Sea operator

Danish oil & gas group AP Moller has agreed to sell its oil exploration and production arm Maersk Oil to Total for $7.45bn. The acquisition is to be paid for entirely in shares, giving AP Moller a 3.75% stake in the French oil group. Maersk Oil employs 15,000 people and is the main operator in the Danish portion of the North Sea. Maersk Oil also manages several offshore installations and project developments in the UK; these include the Culzean gas development, of which it is the operator and holds a 49.9 % ownership. The company’s acquisition makes Total the second largest North Sea operator.

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Factory to launch brand licensing division following takeover of Rollo Rights

Manchester-based animation studio Factory plans to launch a brand licensing division following its acquisition of Rollo Rights. Rollo Rights is the owner of the children’s TV classic Mr Benn, as well as a host of other brands. The new rights ownership arm will be called Factory Rights and support Factory’s main studio production business.

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International Process Technologies sells two businesses to American buyers

International Process Technologies (IPT) has sold off two out of three of its businesses to American buyers. Axalta Systems in Philadelphia has acquired Plascoat Systems, an international leader in thermoplastic powders for the protective coating of metals and fabrics, while United Moulders, a designer and manufacturer of inflation devices for lifejackets, has been bought by New Jersey’s Drew Marine. The value of the deals has not been disclosed.

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Watermill Group ties up deal for fasteners specialist Cooper & Turner

US private equity firm Watermill Group has acquired Andaray, the Sheffield based manufacturing group that owns Cooper & Turner. Cooper & Turner is a global manufacturer of high-strength, large diameter fastener systems for use in mission-critical products such as railway tracks, steel construction buildings and wind turbines. Investment from Watermill Group will allow the company to pursue new product, service and market opportunities around the world.

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RehabWorks muscles in on London with physio group acquisition

Archimed SAS, the private equity house that owns RehabWorks, has bought Crystal Palace Physio Group. CPPG turns over around £6m and has a network of 12 sites in London and the South East. It specialises in musculoskeletal (MSK) services, which it provides to both public and private markets. Combined with CPPG, RehabWorks will employ 334 people across 20 sites nationwide as it endeavours to become the leading UK provider of musculoskeletal and mental health solutions.

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NorthEdge backs Bridge Farm MBO in maiden Midlands deal

NorthEdge Capital has backed an MBO at Bridge Farm Nurseries led by CEO David Ball. Bridge Farm Nurseries is headquartered in Spalding and is one of the UK’s leading producers of ornamental plants, flowers and herbs. The company employs over 500 people and operates from five locations across Lincolnshire. Under the Neame Lea brand, it serves a client base that includes supermarkets Tesco and Aldi. This is the first deal for NorthEdge’s recently opened Midlands office.

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