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2014 Company Mergers and Acquisitions

List of company mergers and acquisitions that took place in the UK in 2014.

Sat, 27/12/2014 The courier and parcel delivery firm City Link has gone into administration. The company employs 2,727 people around the UK including 400 at its head office and transport hub in Coventry. It is expected that there will be a large number of redundancies at the company in the coming days. City Link's customers include retailers such as John Lewis as well as thousands of small businesses. It has annual revenues of around £300m. In 2013, following several loss-making years, City Link was bought from Rentokil for a symbolic £1 by the private equity firm Better Capital, which said it would invest

Fri, 02/01/2015 The administrators of City Link announced 2,356 redundancies across the company’s UK sites. A total of 371 people are retained to deal with the parcels remaining within its network and to assist with winding down operations. The redundancy payments will be made from the Government's statutory redundancy scheme as City Link is insolvent.

Tue, 23/12/2014 Medical Imaging, a provider of diabetic eye screening services to the NHS, has been taken over by EMIS Group in a deal worth up to £9.5m.

Tue, 23/12/2014 Phoenix Equity Partners has invested in Riviera Travel. Established in 1984, Riviera specialises in overseas escorted tour holidays and river cruises.

Tue, 23/12/2014 A secondary buyout has been completed at the contract caterer Waterfall. The £20m deal, backed by the private equity firm LDC, will see the existing management team continue to lead the company.

Mon, 22/12/2014 International Personal Finance (IPF) has agreed to buy MCB Finance Group for £23.8m. IPF is a home credit business which operates in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Mexico, Romania, Lithuania and Bulgaria. MCB is a consumer finance company which trades in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Australia.

Mon, 22/12/2014 Onyx Group, the IT support and services business which is aiming to reach a turnover of £100m within the next five years, has acquired Knowledge IT for £10m.

Mon, 22/12/2014 The insurance provider Jelf Group has strengthened its position in Northern England with the purchase of Beaumonts Insurance Group. Beaumonts has offices in Leeds, Bradford, Shrewsbury and Doncaster and will be responsible for nearly 45% of Jelf Group’s insurance business.

Mon, 22/12/2014 Ideagen, a supplier of information management software, has acquired Gael. Established in 1992, Gael develops compliance, safety, risk and performance management software to clients such as Emirates, Virgin Rail, UK NHS, G4S, Terex, Dairy Crest, Fresenius Kabi and Obeikan.

Mon, 22/12/2014 The private equity firm LDC has agreed to sell its stake in Ocean Outdoor to Searchlight Capital Partners. Ocean Outdoor is one of the UK’s leading specialist out-of-home advertising companies.

Mon, 22/12/2014 The data storage specialist Solid State Solutions (S3) has been acquired by Capita IT Enterprise Services.

Fri, 19/12/2014 The engineering company Scopus Group has been acquired by Amec Foster Wheeler. Scopus specialises in providing laser scanning, dimensional control and lean engineering services to the global oil and gas, petrochemical and nuclear industries.

Fri, 19/12/2014 The UK assets and subsidiaries of RP Martin Group have been bought by BGC Partners. RP Martin is an interdealer brokerage firm known for its European rates and foreign exchange products.

Fri, 19/12/2014 The private equity firm Bain Capital Europe has bought the clay and concrete companies Ibstock, Forticrete and Supreme Concrete from CRH. The £414m generated by this sale will be used by CRH for “general corporate purposes”.

Fri, 19/12/2014 The insurance broker A-Plan Insurance has been sold by Equistone to HgCapital. Established in 1963, A-Plan operates 73 branches across the UK, serving over 580,000 policyholders.

Fri, 19/12/2014 YFM Equity Partners has backed the £4m management buyout of Wakefield Acoustics. Established in 1980, Wakefield designs, manufactures and installs bespoke industrial and environmental noise control technology.

Fri, 19/12/2014 LDC has sold Angel Springs to the German private equity firm Castik Capital. Angel Springs is a provider of bottled and mains fed water coolers to businesses.

Thu, 11/12/2014 Complete Imaging, a managed print and document technology services company, has been acquired by Capita. The deal will see Complete join the managed print services division of Capita Document & Information Services.

Thu 04/12/2014 George Osborne announced a 25% Diverted Profits Tax to be levied on multinationals who use ‘artificial’ arrangements to divert profits from their UK economic activity overseas in order to avoid paying UK tax. The tax is aimed at companies such as Google, Starbucks and Amazon and will be introduced in April 2015.

Banks are also in the Chancellor’s firing line and from April 2015 they will only be able to offset 50% of previous years’ losses against current year profits.

Other changes announced in the Coalition’s final Autumn Statement include an increase in the business rates discount for small shops, pubs and cafe premises to £1,500, the abolition of employer’s national insurance for companies employing apprentices aged under 25, an increase in the tax-free personal allowance to £10,600 and the approval in principle to devolve corporation tax setting powers to Northern Ireland.

Wed, 03/12/2014 Aviva, the UK’s largest insurance company, has agreed to buy Friends Life for £5.6bn. The deal will strengthen Aviva’s position in corporate pensions with assets of £39bn. Aviva Investors will take on approximately £70bn of Friends Life’s UK assets. Friends Life was formed in 2011 through the merger of Friends Provident and AXA.

Tue, 25/11/2014 The private equity firm Vista has acquired Advanced Computer Software (ACS) for £725m. ACS is a provider of software and IT services to the primary care sector.

Mon, 24/11/2014 The oil and gas exploration company Ophir Energy has acquired Salamander Energy in a deal worth £314m. The deal gives Ophir access to established operations in South East Asia, where Salamander has operating licenses in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Thu, 20/11/2014 The business finance provider Sancus has been taken over by GLI Finance for £38m. Sancus has loaned £40m to businesses in the Channel Islands since it was established in January 2014.

Thu, 20/11/2014 Bopp & Reuther, a German control valve producer, has been acquired by IMI. The £120m deal establishes IMI’s position in the power sector, where fast growth is predicted in emerging markets such as China and India.

Wed, 19/11/2014 MPs have voted to force the big pub chains to allow their tenants the option of buying beer and other stock on the open market and not just from the company that owns their pub. Pub landlords will also be able to ask for an independent rent review. This has been welcomed by the Campaign For Real Ale, which says it will ‘keep pubs open and ensure the cost of a pint to consumers remains affordable. The large pub companies will no longer be able to charge their tenants prices up to 60 pence a pint higher than open market prices.’ However the British Beer & Pub Association, which represents the

Mon, 17/11/2014 Connect Group, the specialist distribution company previously known as Smiths News, has acquired Tuffnells Parcels Express. Established in 1914, Tuffnells is planning to open six new depots over the next two years.

Thu, 13/11/2014The Financial Conduct Authority has imposed fines totalling £1,114,918,000 on five banks for failing to control business practices in their foreign exchange operations. Traders from different banks colluded to manipulate currency rates in order to make profits for themselves. The five banks are Citibank, HSBC Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. Barclays Bank is still being investigated for similar failings and has not yet reached a settlement with the FCA. The FCA found that between 1 January 2008 and 15 October 2013, ineffective controls at the banks allowed traders to

Wed, 12/11/2014 A management buyout has been completed at Sumo Digital, the videogame developer responsible for titles such as Forza Horizon 2, Sonic and Sega All Star Racing, and the upcoming LittleBigPlanet 3. The private equity company NorthEdge Capital has backed the deal, which sees the existing management team take control from Foundation 9 Entertainment.

Fri, 07/11/2014 The composite door manufacturer Solidor has been acquired by the private equity firm NorthEdge Capital. Solidor will use the investment to expand its senior management team.

Thu, 06/11/2014 The mobile advertising agency Fetch Media has been acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network. Established in 2009, Fetch has offices in London, the US, Germany and Hong Kong.

Thu, 06/11/2014 BSkyB has been told to make Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 available on the YouView platform in an interim ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal. This is the latest stage in a long running battle between BSkyB and the independent communications regulator Ofcom, which in 2010 ruled that the two channels should be offered to other pay TV providers on a wholesale basis. YouView is a joint venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel Five, BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva which provides internet-connected TV through TV sets.

Thu, 06/11/2014 The private investment firm TPG has announced it is to buy the Italian restaurant chain Prezzo for £303.7m. Prezzo operates 249 restaurants across the UK. TPG has invested in several food and food service companies in recent years, including Del Monte, Chobani, Ingham and Burger King.

Thu, 06/11/2014 Dairy Crest has sold its Dairies operations, including bulk butter manufacture, to Muller for £80m. Dairy Crest’s Dairies division processes and delivers 1.3 billion litres of British milk to retailers and residential customers every year. It also includes the FRijj milkshake brand, flavoured milk, cream, bulk butter and milk powders. Dairy Crest will now focus on its branded cheese and spreads products.

Wed, 05/11/2014 Proximity Communications has been taken over by the telecoms and data managed services company Maintel for £9.6m. Proximity is a unified communications and managed services provider.

Wed, 05/11/2014 The specialist plastics products manufacturer Plastics Capital has acquired Flexipol Packaging for £10.6m. Established in 1994, Flexipol Packaging manufactures packaging for retailers such as Marks & Spencer.

Wed, 05/11/2014 Impellam Group, a provider of staffing solutions, business process and recruitment outsourcing, has acquired Lorien for an initial cash payment of £22.3m. Established in 1977, Lorien specialises in IT recruitment and has offices in London, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh. The deal means Impellam is now the UK’s second largest staffing company.

Wed, 05/11/2014 United Biscuits has been bought by the Turkish food company Yildiz. United Biscuits owns the snack and biscuit brands Twiglets, Hula Hoops, Jacob's, Penguin, McCoy's, KP, Carr's and McVitie's Jaffa Cakes. It operates seven manufacturing facilities in the UK.

Wed, 05/11/2014 Rolls-Royce is to cut a further 2,600 jobs over the next 18 months, mainly in its Aerospace division. The engine maker says that the cuts would result in restructuring costs of around £120m over the next two years and achieve annualised cost benefits of around £80m when fully implemented. Rolls-Royce also announced the departure of its long-serving chief financial officer, Mark Morris.

Tue, 28/10/2014 The Formula 1 field has been reduced to nine teams following the news that the Marussia and Caterham teams have gone into administration. Caterham was sold by businessman Tony Fernandes to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors earlier this year, however this has not prevented it sliding into further difficulties. Both UK-based teams have had little success since they entered the sport in 2010, with the best result between them a 9th place at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix from Marussia’s Jules Bianchi. The last Formula 1 team to withdraw from the sport was the Spanish outfit HRT in

Tue, 28/10/2014 The private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe has bought Travel Counsellors. Established in 1994, Travel Counsellors is an independent travel agency that operates in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, South Africa, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Australia and Canada.

Fri, 24/10/2014 The premium cooked poultry business Benson Park has been acquired by Cranswick. The deal allows Cranswick to expand into a new protein category.

Fri, 24/10/2014 GDP increased by 0.7% in the third quarter of 2014 compared with growth of 0.9% in the second quarter according to the latest set of economic data published by the Office for National Statistics. Growth was fastest in the construction sector at 0.8% and slowest in agriculture at 0.3%. UK GDP is now 3.4% higher than it was before the economic downturn in 2008.

Wed, 22/10/2014 Home Retail Group has announced it is to close 25% of Homebase stores by 2019. The closures form part of a three year business plan which aims to enable the home improvement retailer to compete with digital and multi-channel competitors. Home Retail Group says that a number of the 323 Homebase stores it owns in the UK are ‘either unprofitable or are in decline’ and a reduction will allow it to engage in a ‘more aggressive store investment programme’.

Mon, 20/10/2014 580 Limited, owner and operator of four pubs across London, has been bought for £10.4m by Young’s & Co. The deal includes The Owl & Pussycat, a leasehold based in Shoreditch, an area of London which Young’s is keen to expand into.

Mon, 20/10/2014 Daisy Group, a provider of network and IP-based communications services for businesses, has been acquired for £494m by a consortium consisting of Toscafund Asset Management, Penta Capital and Matthew Riley, Daisy Group chief executive.

Greene King continues to push forward with its expansion into the retail sector with the acquisition of Spirit Pub Company. The £774m deal creates the UK’s leading managed pub operator, with a portfolio of over 1,800 pubs. Spirit’s managed division consists of 794 pubs operating under five brands: Chef & Brewer, Fayre & Square, John Barras, Flaming Grill and Taylor Walker.

28/10/2014 A management buyout backed by the private equity firm Endless, has been completed The Book People. Established in 1988, The Book People is a £96m turnover online book retailer.

Tue, 28/10/2014 Gorkana Group, a company which specialises in multi-channel media monitoring and PR measurement services, has been acquired by the American PR, social software and insight services provider Cision. The Gorkana brand will be retained.

Old Mutual has announced that its retail investment business, Old Mutual Wealth, is to acquire Quilter Cheviot. The £585m deal means Old Mutual Wealth will have £92bn of funds under management. Quilter Cheviot is a provider of personalised investment management services.

The pump manufacturer and international engineering services company Weir has acquired the Chinese company Trio for £138m. Trio designs and manufactures a range of products for the aggregates and minerals markets. The deal will enable Weir to offer a more complete range of products and services to existing mining clients.

Heathrow Airport Holdings has sold three airports to a consortium led by Ferrovial and Macquarie. The £1bn deal involves the world’s busiest commercial heliport, Aberdeen International Airport, Scotland’s largest charter hub, Glasgow Airport, and Southampton Airport. The deal means Heathrow Airport Holdings will focus solely on operating one airport.

Qualcomm, manufacturer of the Snapdragon processor used in market leading smartphones such as the HTC One (M8) and Sony Xperia Z3, has acquired CSR. Established in 1999, CSR specialises in Bluetooth and wireless technologies. The £1.6bn acquisition will enable Qualcomm to increase its range of products, channels and customers.

The TV production companies Endemol, Shine and CORE are to merge, following an agreement between 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management. Endemol, responsible for shows such as Big Brother and Deal Or No Deal, was acquired by Apollo in 2012. Shine, the production company behind Masterchef, was taken over by 21st Century Fox in 2011. CORE produces American TV shows such as American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.

Allegro Networks, a provider of IT infrastructure and data centre services, has been acquired by the American company IIX

SilverSky, an American provider of cloud-based email and network security services, has been acquired by BAE Systems. The £144m deal will be used to develop and grow Applied Intelligence, BAE’s commercial cyber security division

Betcom, a developer of gaming software for the UK pub market, has been acquired by the German company Gauselmann. Betcom will work closely with Gauselmann’s UK subsidiary, Blueprint Gaming.

The American medical device manufacturer Steris is to acquire Synergy Health for £1.2bn. Established in 1991, Synergy provides infection prevention, patient hygiene and surgical care products, as well as decontamination, sterilisation and laboratory services.

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) is now the sole owner of Bristol Airport, the ninth-largest in the UK, following its acquisition of Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund’s 50% share. OTPP bought its initial 50% share in the airport in 2009.

The private equity firm Metric Capital Partners has bought James Grant Group from Gresham. James Grant is a provider of management and professional services for TV, music and sports clients, including well known names such as Clare Balding, Jake Humphrey and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Melrose Industries has sold Bridon to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for £365m. Established in 1924, Bridon manufactures rope and wire for use in construction, mining, oil and gas detection, telecomms and other specialised markets.

A management buyout has been completed at Wellman Group, which will see the furnace manufacturer renamed as Robey-Wellman Boilers and Furnaces.

The cake and bread bakery goods manufacturer Finsbury Food has acquired Fletchers Group. The £56m deal creates a bakery group with a turnover of around £300m. Fletchers owns the Kara Foodservice brand.

The cloud services operator Interoute Communications has acquired the fibre-optic network operator Vtesse.

Restore, a provider of office services, has bought Cintas Document Management (CDM) for £23.5m. CDM is the UK records management and scanning division of Cintas Corporation. The deal reinforces Restore’s position as the UK’s second largest provider of records management services.

South Coast Catering has been acquired by the Airedale Group, in a deal which creates one of the largest specialist catering service networks in the UK. South Coast, established in 1991, will be combined with Airedale Group’s technical services division.

Virgin Atlantic is to close its domestic flights business Little Red in 2015, less than two years after it was launched. Virgin Atlantic says that the European Commission’s decision to allow British Airways to take over British Midland and all of its flight slots made it impossible for a new entrant to the market like Little Red to attract enough business to make it profitable. Little Red’s daily services between London Heathrow and Manchester will continue until the end of March 2015, while its flights between London Heathrow and Edinburgh and Aberdeen will continue until September 2015.

Hewlett-Packard is to separate into two new entities: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, a corporate infrastructure software & services business; and HP, a personal computers & printing business. Hewlett-Packard shareholders will own shares of both new companies.

Alco Valves Group, a manufacturer of high pressure valves used in the oil and gas industry, has been acquired by the American company Graco for £72m. Alco’s manufacturing and engineering operations will continue in Manchester and Leeds.

Virgin Money has announced that it is to float on the London Stock Exchange in the next few weeks. The bank hopes to raise £150m from the stock market listing of at least 25% of the business. The flotation sees the return to the stock market of the former Northern Rock, which Virgin Money bought from the Government for £1bn in 2011.

eBay is to spin off its payment business PayPal to create two standalone publicly traded companies by the end of 2015. eBay says that ‘the pace of industry change and innovation in commerce and payments requires maximum flexibility to stay competitive and drive global leadership’. eBay bought PayPal for $1.5bn in 2002 and for much of that decade provided the bulk of PayPal’s payment volume. However PayPal has grown rapidly in recent years and now has more than 152 million active registered accounts and its revenue for this year is expected to be around $7.2bn.

The private equity firm LDC has backed the £42m management buyout of the manufacturer Eley Group. Established in 1828, Eley is a manufacturer of rounds used by Olympic shooting competitors. It was previously owned by IMI plc.

The Co-operative Group sold Sunwin Services Group to Cardtronics for £41.5m. Sunwin is a provider of a range of ATM management services.

The private equity firm Endless has backed the management buyout of the flooring accessories manufacturer Gradus.

Vodafone has acquired a 72.7% stake in the Greek broadband provider Hellas Online. The £58m deal creates a unified provider of fixed line and mobile communications.

office2office, a provider of business services, has agreed to be acquired by the private equity firm Endless.

The PR and communications agency Van Communications has been acquired by Richmond Towers Communications.

Hargreaves Services has sold Imperial Tankers, one of the largest bulk chemical transport companies in the UK, to Suttons Group. Imperial has a road tanker fleet of over 200 tractor units and 350 tanker semi-trailers.

The private equity firm Bridgepoint has acquired Moneycorp for £212m.

The private equity firm LDC has backed the £50m Management buyout of Clifford Thames, a specialist provider of outsourced services to the global automotive aftermarket parts, service and repair industry.

The business publisher Reed Elsevier has bought FircoSoft, a French technology company. The deal will see FircoSoft, which specialises in global sanctions screening software, integrated with another Reed Elsevier company, Accuity.

The private equity firm Sovereign Capital has created the UK’s largest group providing accounting services to the Contractor and SME markets with the acquisition of SJD Accountancy and Nixon Williams for £100m. The businesses will operate independently under their respective brands within the new group structure.

Tesco has reduced its profit forecast following the discovery of an error in its accounts that overstated the group’s profits for the first six months of the year by £250m. Tesco has asked Deloitte to undertake an independent and comprehensive review of its accounts. Four of Tesco’s most senior employees have been suspended pending the result of the review.

GlaxoSmithKline has been fined £297m by the Chinese authorities for bribing doctors in the country. GlaxoSmithKline has published a statement of apology to the Chinese government and its people and says that it has taken steps to comprehensively rectify the issues identified in its operations. These steps include changing the incentive program for its salesforce, significantly reducing and changing engagement activities with healthcare professionals, and stepping up scrutiny of its invoicing and payments.

Administrators say that 362 Phones 4U shops are to close permanently and 1,697 staff employed at these locations will be made redundant. Another 720 people have been retained in the short term to assist with the closure programme. Dixons Carphone has agreed to offer roles to the 800 people working in Phones 4U concessions located in Dixons Carphone outlets. In addition Vodafone is to take on 140 Phones 4U stores and 887 employees, while EE has paid £2.5m to acquire 58 of the stores, preserving 359 jobs. Phones 4U was placed into administration following the decision of Vodafone, 02 and EE to stop supplying the retailer.

The snooker hall and sports bar operator Rileys has gone into administration. The administrators have closed 15 Rileys venues and made 124 people redundant. The company’s remaining 44 venues continue to trade as normal while the administrators work to stabilise the business.

Twitter is to add a ‘Buy Now’ button to tweets that will allow users to purchase products and services directly from suppliers without leaving the social network. In preparation for this Twitter has updated its terms and conditions with regard to suppliers’ relationships with users, including their responsibility for order fulfilment, shipping and returns.

Time Inc is rebranding its wholly-owned UK publishing arm IPC Media to Time Inc UK. Time Inc UK’s chief executive Marcus Rich said, “We are proud of what we have achieved at IPC over many years and we are excited to extend that success as a more integrated part of Time Inc. We firmly believe our business partners will benefit from the strategic clarity that comes from one company brand and we are looking forward to exploring new opportunities as Time Inc UK.” The company publishes more than 60 print and digital magazine titles including Horse & Hound, Wallpaper, Country Life, What’s on TV and Woman.

Co-operative Group’s members have voted overwhelmingly to radically reform the group’s governance structure. The new structure will see the business led by a group board of 11 people (reduced from 20) composed of a majority of independent directors. The board will be made up of an independent non-executive chair, five independent non-executive directors, two executive directors, (including the group chief executive) and three member-nominated directors. Earlier this year Co-operative Group’s chief executive resigned, calling the business ‘ungovernable’.

Ryanair has launched a business class service. The low cost airline says that its Ryanair Business Plus offers Europe’s business travellers ‘a tailored package, including flexible ticket changes, a 20kg bag allowance, fast-track at airports, priority boarding and premium seating’.

Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail have completed their merger. The new Dixons Carphone plc shares have started trading on the London Stock Exchange and the combined identity is now displayed in the group’s 3,000 shops. Dixons Carphone has also unveiled its new corporate website and Twitter feeds.

Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty First Century Fox has withdrawn its $80bn bid for Time Warner.

Reckitt Benckiser is to spin off its RB Pharmaceuticals as a stand-alone business with a separate listing on the London stock market. The company says that the demerger will allow it to focus on its core strategy to be a global leader in consumer health and hygiene.

Unipart Automotive Ltd, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of car parts, workshop consumables and garage equipment, has gone into administration and 1,244 people have made redundant. The business had been in financial difficulty for some time. Unipart Automotive was previously known as Partco, and was sold by Unipart Group to H2 Equity Partners in 2011. Unipart Group is a separate business and continues to operate as normal.

MTR Corporation has won the £1.4bn eight-year contract to operate Crossrail, the new 72 mile route connecting Reading and Heathrow with Shenfield and Abbey Wood. MTR is expected to employ around 1,100 staff and will start running the service from 31 May 2015. MTR currently runs the Hong Kong metro.

BT has launched a new cloud-based service for businesses that brings together all of a company’s fixed lines, mobile phones and internal office phone systems and delivers them on a mobile phone. BT says that BT One Phone will use 4G and BT’s 5 million wi-fi hotspots to provide all the same functionality of an office-based phone system to an employee’s mobile phone.

Companies House is to make all of its online data available free of charge from early 2015. Businesses and members of the public currently have to pay up to £1 per search to research and scrutinise the activities and ownership of companies and connected individuals. In 2013/14 customers searching the Companies House website spent £8.7m accessing company information on the register. The Government says that by making the data freely available and free of charge the UK becomes a more transparent, efficient and effective place to do business. It hopes that the move will also open up opportunities for entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ways of using the information.

Plans to privatise the Land Registry have been shelved. The Land Registry was created in 1862 and records the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. The Government had hoped to raise more than £1bn from the sale, but has now decided that ‘further consideration would be valuable’ before going ahead.

Transport for London has named Keolis Amey Docklands as the new franchisee of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). The contract is worth in excess of £700m and entitles Keolis Amey Docklands to operate and maintain the DLR network until April 2021. Keolis Amey Docklands is a joint venture between the French transport group Keolis and the infrastructure and services company Amey, which is owned by the Spanish conglomerate Ferrovial. Serco has operated the DLR since 1997 but was unsuccessful in its bid to retain the franchise. The other unsuccessful bidders were Stagecoach and Go-Ahead/Colas.

Danish international discount grocery retailer Netto is returning to Britain in 2014 in the form of a joint venture between Dansk Supermarked and Sainsbury’s. The trial will consist of 15 Netto stores to be opened by the end of 2015, with the first opening their doors in the North of England. If the trial proves successful the next stage of the joint venture will see the new format rolled out across the country.

Mothercare has rejected a £266m merger approach by the US mother and baby retail business Destination Maternity.

Administrators have been appointed to the company that owns the brands La Senza and Pinkberry in the UK. Marnixheath operates 55 La Senza stores and three Pinkberry outlets, employing 752 staff. The administrators are continuing to trade the businesses as normal for the time being whilst discussions take place with interested parties in respect of a sale. Marnixheath was previously known as Alshaya UK, changing its name in January 2014.

The fashion chain Jane Norman has gone into administration for the second time in three years, putting more than 150 jobs at risk.

Wonga, the UK’s biggest payday lender, is to pay compensation of over £2.6m to around 45,000 customers for unfair and misleading debt collection practices. An investigation by The Financial Conduct Authority found that Wonga sent letters from fake law firms to customers who were in arrears threatening them with legal action. In some instances, Wonga also added charges to customers’ accounts to cover the administration fees associated with sending the letters. Wonga will not be fined for its activities because the misconduct occurred before the FCA became responsible for regulating payday lenders.

The state pension age will be raised to 67 in 2026, a decade earlier than previously planned. The Chancellor says the change will save the UK in excess of £50bn. As a result of the Pensions Act 2011, women's state pension age will be equalised with men's at 65 in November 2018. It will then rise to 66 in October 2020.

Ofcom has taken over responsibility for the regulation of the UK’s postal services from the previous regulator Postcomm. Ofcom is now responsible for safeguarding the UK’s universal postal service, which includes the requirement for Royal Mail to offer a six day a week, one price goes anywhere, postal service throughout the UK. Ofcom already regulates the television, radio, telecommunications and wireless industries.

Walgreens and Alliance Boots have announced they are to merge in 2015. The newly combined company will have 11,100 stores in 10 countries and be known as Walgreens Boots Alliance. It will be headquartered in Chicago. Boots will retain its headquarters in Nottingham.

Primary Fluid Holdings, a designer and manufacturer of hydraulic systems and purifiers, has been acquired by Flowtech Fluidpower for £9.8m.

The national wealth manager Bellpenny has bought Torquil Clark from Skipton Building Society. Torquil Clark was established in 1989 and is a provider of independent financial advice to individuals and businesses. The deal means Bellpenny now has £2.5bn of funds under management.

The personal loan broker Freedom Finance has been acquired by the SOF Annex Fund. The deal will see Freedom work with Target Group, which is already owned by SOF.

Westbury Street Holdings, owner of brands such as BaxterStorey, Portico and Benugo, has acquired the high end restaurant and catering group Searcys.

The private equity firm LDC has sold Penn Pharmaceuticals to Packaging Coordinators Inc (PCI), an American provider of pharmaceutical contract packaging services. The £127m deal will enable PCI to partner with clients from an early stage of drug development through to the product’s commercial launch.

The outdoor media owner Ocean Outdoor has acquired Signature Outdoor.

Avingtrans, a designer, manufacturer and supplier of components and associated services to the aerospace industry, has acquired RMDG Aerospace from Tricorn Group. RMDG manufactures rigid pipe assemblies and precision components for the aerospace sector. The deal will strengthen Avingtrans’ aerospace division, Sigma Precision Components.

The private equity firms Bridgepoint Development Capital and Palatine have sold Hallmark Hotels to the investment firm Topland. The Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath, a portfolio of Hilton hotels, a portfolio of Thistle hotels, the Welcome Break in North London and The Menzies hotel group are all owned by Topland.

SSE, a provider of gas and electricity for Central and Northern England, has acquired Energy Solutions Group (ESG) in a deal worth up to £72m. ESG is a designer and provider of energy management services, and will be integrated into SSE’s new enterprise division, which specialises in electrical and mechanical contracting, lighting services, private energy networks and telecoms.

PZ Cussons, owner of well known brands such as Imperial Leather, Carex and Charles Worthington, has expanded into the Australia food market with the acquisition of Australian organic yoghurt brand Five:am for £44.1m.

Principality Building Society has sold the estate agency Peter Alan to Connells Group for £16.4m.

A management buyout has been completed at Allseas Global Logistics in a deal which sees ownership transfer to managing director Darren Wright.

Clifton Ingram has acquired Ratcliffe Duce & Gammer.

ChargePoint Technology, a manufacturer of precision containment valves, has acquired Forac.

The private equity firm Lake Capital has acquired the marketing communications group Engine. The deal will see Engine work with Lake’s other investments, ORC International and Trailer Park. Engine owns the PR firms MHP Communications and Mischief and the advertising agency WCRS.

Arcadis, the global design and consultancy firm, has agreed to buy Hyder Consulting for £256.2m. Hyder operates in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Germany and the UK. Arcadis trades in the UK as EC Harris.

The Co-operative Group has sold its farms business to the Wellcome Trust. The deal includes 39,533 acres of freehold and third party owned land, 15 farms, over 100 residential properties and 27 commercial properties. The sale enables the Co-op to focus on its core retail and consumer services divisions.

The engineering services group Renew has acquired Forefront Group for £14.8m. Forefront is a provider of engineering services to the gas infrastructure market.

Benenden Health has bought the insurance brokerage Keegan & Pennykid.

Mobeus Private Equity has backed the management buyout of the software company Tharstern.

The private medical insurance provider Private Health Partnership has been sold by Skipton Building Society to Punter Southall.

Corporate Risk Systems has merged with Henderson Risk Management.

Stadium Group has acquired the electronics manufacturer United Wireless for £8m. United was established in 2009 and specialises in wireless connectivity in primarily cellular networks.

The food and drink wholesaler Bestway has acquired The Co-operative Group’s pharmacy business for £620m. The Co-operative will use the money generated from the deal to reduce debt and invest in its retail and consumer services divisions.

The private equity firm Endless has acquired Kiddicare from Wm Morrison. Kiddicare specialises in selling nursery supplies and merchandise for children and young families.

The biopharmaceutical companies Shire and AbbVie have agreed to merge and form a business which will specialise in immunology, rare diseases, neuroscience, metabolic diseases and liver disease (HCV) and multiple emerging oncology programs. The deal values Shire at £32bn. AbbVie was formed in 2013 when Abbott Laboratories separated into two separate companies, with AbbVie focussing on research-based pharmaceuticals.

The law firms Morgan Cole and Blake Lapthorn have merged to form a new top 50 law firm called Blake Morgan.

The sensor manufacturer TT Electronics has acquired Roxspur Measurement & Control. Roxspur manufactures emperature, flow, pressure, and level sensors across three sites in Sheffield, Bramley and Manchester.

The Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital has bought PizzaExpress from Gondola Holdings. The £900m acquisition sees Hony take charge of a business which operates 436 restaurants in the UK and 68 restaurants internationally, including 22 in China.

The debt purchase firm Aktiv Kapital has been acquired by Portfolio Recovery Associates.

Atlas Products International has been taken over by HighJump Software, an American provider of supply chain management software.

Miller Construction, a provider of building and infrastructure projects to both the public and private sectors, has been taken over by Galliford Try. The £16.6m acquisition increases Galliford Try’s target turnover by 2018 to £1.5bn.

Cofely, the GDF SUEZ-owned facilities management company, has bought Lend Lease Group’s UK facilities management business. The deal makes Cofely one of the UK’s largest providers of technical services PFI (Private Finance Initiative).

ITS Technology Group has acquired the broadband provider City Serve.

Concept Life Sciences, a scientific laboratory and consultancy business backed by the private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe, has made three acquisitions with a combined enterprise value of £58m. The companies bought are Peakdale MolecularResource & Environmental Consultants and Scientific Analysis Laboratories.

Barry Hearn has sold Leyton Orient FC to the Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti. Leyton Orient narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship last season.

SPTS Technologies, a manufacturer of plasma etch and deposition and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor industry, has been acquired by the Israeli technology company Orbotech.

UDG Healthcare has acquired the specialist healthcare and scientific public relations businesses Galliard and Nyxeon. The deal will see the two agencies work with UDG’s existing PR company, Ashfield Healthcare Communications.

Monsal has been acquired by the American conglomerate General Electric. Monsal provides advanced technology to treat biosolids and biowaste and convert them into renewable energy and saleable byproducts. The deal will see Monsal integrated into General Electric’s water business.

The private equity firm Endless has sold the specialist bathroom retailer bathstore. The management buyout sees Endless exit a business it acquired in 2012.

The Caterham F1 team has been sold by businessman Tony Fernandes to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors. The deal sees Tony Fernandes leave the sport having failed to win a point since he started with Lotus Racing in 2010.

Diageo has acquired an additional 28.78% stake in United Spirits, in a deal which gives it a majority shareholding in the company.

Guardian News & Media has sold its design and interactive development division to Kantar. The deal will see Guardian Digital Agency rebranded as Graphic.

ForFarmers, a provider of livestock nutrition products, has expanded its UK operations with the acquisition of Wheyfeed, a distributor of over 200,000 tonnes of liquid co-products throughout the UK.

The residential developer and house builder London Square has been sold by Graphite Capital to Ares Management for £110m.

Businessman John Ryan and One Direction star Louis Tomlinson have agreed to buy Doncaster Rovers FC, as the football club looks to recover from being relegated to League One.

The global materials technology company Luxfer has bought the assets and business of Truetech Inc and Innotech Products for £36m. The acquired businesses will be integrated into Luxfer Magtech.

The fashion retailer M and M Direct has been acquired by BESTSELLER for £140m. M and M has more than 1.3 million active customers and 50 million website visits a year.

Mitchells & Butlers has acquired the majority of the activities of the Orchid Group. The £266m deal includes 173 predominantly freehold pubs and the Orchid head office. Mitchells & Butlers, the UK's largest operator of managed pubs and restaurants, will convert 96 Orchid sites to Mitchells & Butlers brands and formats such as Harvester, Toby Carvery, Ember, Miller & Carter, Castle and Vintage Inns within the next two years. 77 of the pubs will be added to the Heartland portfolio.

Norwich International Airport has been acquired by Rigby Group. The deal confirms Rigby Group’s status as one of the largest single owners of regional airports and airport services in the UK.

Partnerships in Care, the UK’s second-largest behavioral health provider, has been acquired by the American company Acadia Healthcare for £390m.

Bell Pottinger, the communications agency established by Lord Bell in 1987, has acquired Centreground Political Communications, a provider of political and geopolitical advice to a range of UK and International companies and governments.

Whale, a manufacturer of electronic pump systems, has been acquired by the American company Brunswick Corporation.

The car and cycle parts retailer Halfords has acquired Boardman Bikes, the British cycling brand established by former Olympic gold medal winner Chris Boardman.

The private equity firm Mobeus has backed the £11.3m management buyout of Creative Graphics International, a designer and supplier of technical self-adhesive branding solutions for the automotive and aerospace industries.

Milan Mandaric has agreed to sell Sheffield Wednesday FC to Hafiz Mammadov, owner of FC Baku and RC Lens. Mr Mammadov is founder and chairman of the Baghlan Group, which specialises in oil, gas, construction and transportation.

Palatine Private Equity has backed the management buyout of the seismic consultancy firm, The EPI Group.

Communisis, a provider of personalised customer communication services, has acquired The Communications Agency for £8m.

NVM Private Equity has backed the £5m management buyout of Arnlea Systems, a provider of software systems to companies operating in hazardous and harsh environments.

PuriCore International, a provider of automated endoscope reprocessors, endoscope drying and storage cabinets, has been bought by Cantel Medical Corp. The £16m acquisition will enable Cantel to expand into the UK and continental Europe.

The German engineering and services company Bilfinger has expanded its UK building and facility division with the acquisition of the real estate consultancy GVA.

The £45million management buyout of Anite Travel has been backed by the private equity firm LDC. Anite Travel provides reservation systems to travel operators such as TUI and Thomas Cook.

A management buyout has been completed at Impero, a provider of software related to e-safety, classroom, network and user management. The £10m deal was backed by Connection Capital and BLME.

Aimia Foods has been acquired by Cott Corporation’s UK business unit. The deal, worth a minimum of £47m, is part of Cott’s product and channel diversification strategy.

Huntsman’s Quarries has been taken over by the UK’s largest independent aggregates business, Breedon Aggregates. The £15m acquisition opens up the north Worcestershire concrete market to Breedon.

The private equity firm Alcuin Capital Partners has acquired Neville Johnson Group. The deal will see the group, which trades under the Neville Johnson and Tom Howley brands, open eight new showrooms over the next three years.

Entertainment One, owner of the Peppa Pig brand, has acquired the Phase 4 Films group of companies.

Homair Vacances, owner of the Homair Vacances and Al Fresco outdoor holidays brands, has acquired Eurocamp, forming a company responsible for managing 15,000 mobile-homes located on around 300 campsites across France, Spain, Italy and Croatia.

Tex Holdings, owner of a range of manufacturing companies, has been taken over by Le Bas Investment Trust in a deal which values Tex at £6.3m.

The private equity firm LDC has backed the management buyout of the building consultancy Stroma.

The specialist contract research organisation Euprotec has been acquired by the German drug discovery company Evotec.

The regeneration developer Cathedral Group has been acquired by Development Securities in a deal worth up to £27.4m. Cathedral’s portfolio of nine mixed-use development opportunities in locations such as Greenwich, Deptford and Bromley will be added to Development Securities’ portfolio.

The business process outsourcer Parseq has continued its move towards being a £100m turnover business with the acquisition of 2Touch.

The private equity firm NorthEdge Capital agreed a £16.1m deal which will see it buy Utiligroup from Bglobal. Utiligroup is a data management software and services company established in 1997.

One51, owner of MGB Plastics, has taken over Straight plc in a £10.7m deal.

ASK4, a provider of telecommunications services to student accommodation and multi-tenant buildings, has been acquired by Darwin Private Equity for £21.5m.

Oasis Healthcare, the UK’s largest provider of private dental care services, has bought Apex Dental Care. The acquisition of Apex, and Smiles Dental in April 2014, will increase Oasis Healthcare’s turnover by 40% to over £225m.

The hospitality and travel company Carlson has sold T.G.I. Friday’s to Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners. There are 62 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants across the UK.

Fylde Micro, a technology company which specialises in radio trunking systems, has been acquired by Sepura.

The sports marketing and sponsorship agency WSM Communications has been acquired by the American company Corbis Entertainment.

Datasys, a provider of rail management software systems, has been acquired by Tracsis.

The telematics data services company Wunelli has been taken over by LexisNexis. The acquisition creates one of the largest provider-held insurance telematics databases in the world.

London Stock Exchange Group is in discussions with The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company regarding the acquisition of its asset management and stock index division, Russell Investments.

Havas, the French global communications group, has purchased the full service social, mobile, digital marketing agency Work Club. The deal will see the agency change its name to Havas Work Club.

Cobham has strengthened its position in higher growth, high technology commercial sectors with the £869m acquisition of Aeroflex, a provider of radio frequency, and microwave integrated circuits, components and systems.

UBC Media Group has agreed to purchase 7digital for £16.5m. 7digital is a digital music download service.

Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse have announced they are to merge, in a deal which will see Dixons' and Carphone's shareholders holding exactly 50 per cent each of the newly formed company, which will be called Dixons Carphone. It is believed that the 'Internet of Things' (the ever growing convergence of internet connected devices and consumer electrical products) has made Dixons, one of Europe's largest retailers of electrical goods and Carphone Warehouse, one of Europe's largest independent retailers of mobile phones, highly complementary businesses.

The TV production group all3media has been acquired by Discovery Communications and Liberty Global. all3media’s companies are responsible for programmes such as Embarrassing Bodies, Hollyoaks, Skins, The Cube and The Only Way Is Essex.

Dart Energy has been taken over by IGas Energy. Dart specialises in the extraction of unconventional energy sources such as shale gas, and the £117m deal creates a company with an area under licence of 1 million net acres.

The stockbroking and investment banking firm Oriel Securities has been acquired by Stifel Financial.

Belvedere Bidco, a newly incorporated company indirectly owned by the private equity firm AnaCap Financial Partners, has taken over the insurance broker Brightside Group. The £127m deal will enable Brightside to focus on strategic development and growth.

Northern & Shell has sold Channel 5 to the American TV company Viacom for £450m. Channel 5 launched in 1997 and is currently home to programmes such as The Gadget Show, Big Brother, Home and Away, Neighbours, Ice Road Truckers and the CSI franchise. Viacom is one of the world’s largest media companies and owns brands such as MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

Peel Group has become the sole owner of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, having previously owned a 35% share of the company.

GB Group has acquired the Australian decision support company DecTech Solutions. The £20.5m acquisition gives GB Group access to the Asian market for online commerce powering decision making.

The private equity firm Key Capital Partners backed the £11m management buyout of the specialist educational caterer Alliance in Partnership.

Nova Instruments, an American provider of analytical instruments and measurement services, has acquired Phoenix ISL, a provider of ultrasonic non-destructive testing equipment.

The insurance broker Richard Thacker & Co, established in 1962, has been taken over by the American insurance brokerage and risk management firm Integro.

ITV has acquired an 80% stake in the American reality TV producer Leftfield Entertainment Group. The £210m deal makes ITV the largest unscripted independent producer in the USA. Leftfield is responsible for shows such as Pawn Stars, Counting Cars, American Restoration and Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Trifast has agreed to buy the Italian fasteners manufacturer Viterie Italia Centrale for £22m.

GeoPost is now a majority shareholder of the international logistics provider wnDirect.

Pfizer, the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company, has confirmed it is in negotiations with AstraZeneca regarding a possible merger transaction.

The American insurance company Aetna has acquired the private medical insurance company InterGlobal.

The engineering services business Clarke Telecom has been bought by Renew Holdings for £17m. Clarke Telecom was established in 2000 and specialises in the wireless telecoms infrastructure market.

IRIS Software Group has moved to increase the range of HR and payroll products it offers with the acquisition of Cascade Human Resources.

The American processing components supplier Cirrus Logic has acquired the audio technology components manufacturer Wolfson Microelectronics. The £278m deal strengthens Cirrus Logic’s core business as a market leader in audio signal processing components.

The private equity firm Arle Capital has acquired Innovia Films for £410m. Innovia manufactures materials used in biodegradeable packaging, tobacco packaging, security products and labels.

Communisis has increased its range of services in the design sector with the purchase of both Jacaranda Productions, a video and film production specialist, and Public Creative, a digital creative agency.

The world's second-largest animal health company has been created following Eli Lilly’s acquisition of Novartis Animal Health. The £3.2bn deal includes Novartis Animal Health's nine manufacturing sites, six dedicated research and development facilities, and a global commercial infrastructure with a portfolio of approximately 600 products and more than 3,000 employees. Novartis Animal Health will be integrated into Eli Lilly's existing animal health business, Elanco.

Mars has expanded its global Petcare business with the acquisition of the Eukanuba, IAMS and Natura brands from Procter & Gamble for £1.4bn. Petcare already consists of the Pedigree, Whiskas, Banfield and Royal Canin brands.

The catering company CH&Co has bought full ownership of the high street café group Apostrophe. It previously owned 50% of the business, with the other 50% owned by Amir Chen and the founding shareholders.

The Canadian medical products manufacturer Prism Medical has sold its UK division to the private equity firm LDC. The £30m deal includes manufacturing operations in Rhyl and Wakefield.

Brooks Macdonald has expanded its international and offshore division with £5.7m acquisition of DPZ Capital.

EDM Group has acquired the online property data network xit2.

Regenersis has acquired the Finnish IT security company Blancco Oy. The £49m will enable Regenersis to offer data erasure products as part of its portfolio.

Lets Connect IT Solutions has been acquired by Personal Group for £12m.

LoneStar, a global manufacturer and supplier of high performance fasteners, sealing and precision engineered components, has acquired Hydrobolt.

The business communications provider Qualitel Voice & Data has been bought by

The private equity firm Mobeus has sold MachineWorks Software to Westec. MachineWorks develops simulation and verification toolkit technology used in computer-aided manufacturing.

The private equity firm Palatine has backed the management buyout of GUSTO Restaurant and Bar.

The uninterruptible power supply manufacturer Dale Power Solutions has acquired Swan Generators.

The electronic cigarette company VIP has been bought by Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corporation for £30m.

The personal insolvency specialist Fairpoint Group has acquired the consumer legal services firm Simpson Millar. The deal, worth up to £15m, is part of Fairpoint’s strategy of diversifying its income streams.

Ingenious Asset Management and Thurleigh Investment Managers have agreed to merge in a deal which forms a business which manages £1.8bn in discretionary private client assets and platform based model portfolios.

Rathbone Brothers has acquired Jupiter Asset Management Limited’s private client and charity investment management business for £43.1m.

A secondary management buyout has been completed at Lattimer, a manufacturer of 20,000 component parts for the bottled glass manufacturing industry.

News UK, publisher of The Sun and The Times newspapers, has acquired the online retailer The Handpicked Collection. The deal will see Handpicked’s offers promoted directly to the readers of The Times and The Sunday Times.

The private investment company Rcapital has acquired the credit collection business Shopacheck Financial Services. Rcapital will merge Shopacheck with its existing company, Morses Club. The newly formed company will have a turnover in excess of £80m.

Risktec Solutions has been acquired by the German inspection services company TÜV Rheinland. Risktec provides risk and safety services and offers technical training and education to some of the world’s most highly regulated industrial sectors.

Laing O’Rourke has bought Glass Reinforced Concrete, a specialist in bespoke architectural glass reinforced concrete products.

The private equity firm Maven has backed the £14m management buyout of RMEC, a specialist mechanical and hydraulic engineering company.

Hachette’s subsidiary Hodder & Stoughton has agreed to acquire Quercus Publishing for £12.6m. Quercus specialises in commercial fiction, non-fiction and children’s publishing.

Centrica is to take over Bord Gáis Energy’s Irish supply business. The £920m deal includes Bord’s gas and electricity supply business and the Whitegate gas-fired power station.

The upmarket home builder CALA Group has acquired the luxury house builder Banner Homes. The deal fits in with CALA’s strategy of doubling in size by 2017.

The IT security reseller Network Technology Solutions has been acquired by Capita IT Services. The deal improves Capita’s security capability.

Standard Life has confirmed it is in advanced discussions to acquire Ignis Asset Management.

The private equity firm Mobeus Equity Partners has backed the £14m management buyout of Entanet International, a wholesale voice and data communications provider.

2ergo Group has sold its mobile coupon and loyalty business, 2ergo Ltd, to Eagle Eye Solutions for £4.5m.

HiFX, a provider of foreign exchange and cash deposit services, has been taken over by Euronet for £145m. The deal enables Euronet to expand its range of services to offer an account-to-account international payment service to high-income individuals and small-to-medium sized businesses.

NVM Private Equity has backed the £7m management buyout of the airport hospitality specialist No.1 Traveller.

The world’s largest banana company has been formed following the merger of Fyffes and Chiquita. The newly created company will have a turnover of £2.8bn and be known as ChiquitaFyffes.

The private equity firm DouglasBay Capital has backed the £281m management buyout of Stobart Group’s transport and distribution division, Eddie Stobart Logistics. The deal will enable Stobart Group to focus on providing infrastructure and support services in the energy, air and rail markets. The cash proceeds of the deal will be used to repay loans and invest £55m in Stobart Green Energy.

The Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR has acquired the consumer data and credit reference agency Callcredit Information Group.

Kitwave Wholesale Group has acquired the frozen food and ice cream wholesale and distribution company, Eden Farm.

Vodafone is to buy the Spanish cable company Ono for £6bn. The deal gives Vodafone access to 7.2 million Spanish homes and is part of its strategy of offering a broad range of telecommunications products.

The search marketing specialist Epiphany has been acquired by Jaywing.

WYG has acquired the specialist international development consultancy Delta Partnership Solutions.

The private equity firm Gresham has sold LAS Claims Management to The Innovation Group. LAS Claims is a provider of outsourced services that handles claims across a range of property-related claims including storm, burst pipes, flood, fire, theft and accidental damage.

C&C Group has acquired the outstanding 50% share of Wallaces Express that it did not already own. C&C is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded cider and beer, such as Bulmers, Magners and Tennent's. Wallaces Express is Scotland’s largest wine and spirits wholesaler.

Smarter Mobile UK, which trades as Family Mobile, has been acquired by Coms. The deal will see Smarter Mobile’s services and SIM stock rebranded as Coms Mobile.

The American private investment firm Starwood Capital Group has bought De Vere Venues, the UK’s largest provider of meeting, conference and events venues.

The private equity firm LDC has sold Benson Group to the American company Graphic Packaging International for £100m. Benson is a supplier of printed folding carton board packaging to the food retail industry, with clients including Two Sisters Food Group, Reckitt Benckiser, Greencore and Samworth Brothers.

Universal Products, a contract manufacturer of skincare, hair-care and pharmaceutical products, has been acquired by DCC Healthcare. The £13m deal will see Universal merge with DCC Health & Beauty Solutions.

Bourne Services Group, a hotel linen provider, has been bought by Johnson Service Group (JSG). The £26.5m deal strengthens JSG’s position in the textile services market.

The healthcare services provider UDG Healthcare has acquired the healthcare communications business of KnowledgePoint360 for £86m.

Hull Forgings, a manufacturer of forgings from carbon, carbon alloy, stainless steel and duplex alloys, has been bought out of administration by the engineering company Henry Williams.

The used car valuation service provider CAP Automotive has moved to strengthen its position in mainland Europe with the acquisition of Derwent Management Services. The deal improves CAP’s portfolio of data assets, and increases Derwent’s capacity to bring new data and tools to market.

Andrew Industries has sold six of its filtration businesses to the American manufacturing company Lydall. The £50m deal involves companies in the USA, China and Andrew Webron in the UK.

The specialised debt buyer Marlin Financial Group has been acquired by Cabot Credit Management. The £295m deal will enable both companies to grow revenues across a broad range of debt types.

The fitness clubs Pure Gym and The Gym Group have agreed to merge. The newly merged company will seek to expand its network of gyms across the UK.

The luxury travel tour operator Elegant Resorts has been sold by Thomas Cook to Saudi Arabian travel company Al Tayyar for £14.3m.

The communications consultancy Blue Rubicon has acquired Open Road, an independent communications consultancy.

Bupa has acquired Barbican Dental Care in a move which sees it move into the dentistry sector. The deal includes nine central London dental centres.

Thomas Cook has sold Gold Medal to dnata for £45m. Gold Medal is a UK-based distributor of long-haul scheduled flights, hotels and car hire. dnata is a provider of ground handling, in-flight catering, cargo and travel services.

A management buy-out led by managing director John McDermott has been completed at Collcap Packaging, a provider of packaging services to the cosmetics, perfume and personal care industries.

Maven Capital Partners has backed the management buyout of SPS, the UK’s largest provider of promotional merchandise from 4imprint Group.

The mobile device accessories retailer Mobile Fun has acquired Playfect, a manufacturer of mobile accessories and video game accessories. The deal includes the Playfect brand, operations and assets.

The private equity firm Electra Partners has backed the management buy-out of Ogier Fiduciary Services from the Ogier Group. Electra Partners has agreed to invest £83 million of equity in the £180 million transaction.

Little, Brown Book Group has acquired Constable & Robinson, a publisher of fiction and non-fiction from authors including Joan Collins, Bamber Gascoigne and Quentin Letts.

Compass Computer Consultants, a provider of higher education software, has been taken over by Advanced Computer Software.

The Canadian aerospace products manufacturer Héroux-Devtek has strengthened its position as the market leader in landing gear systems with the acquisition of APPH from BBA Aviation. APPH designs, engineers and manufactures landing gear and hydraulic systems and assemblies for fixed and rotary wing civil and military aircraft such as the Hawk, SAAB Gripen, AW101, C27J Spartan and EC175 aircraft. The deal includes four plants located across the UK and one in Wichita, Kansas.

The medical device manufacturer Smith & Nephew has agreed a £1bn deal to buy the American company ArthroCare, a developer and manufacturer of products for the sports medicine industry.

The Billington Group has added to its portfolio of companies with the acquisition of the frozen food manufacturer TSC Foods.

Millgate Developments has been acquired by the investment fund Oaktree Capital Management. Millgate will merge with Countryside Properties, which is also owned by Oaktree.

The business communications service provider Alternative Networks has acquired Control Circle for £39.4m. The deal means Alternative Networks offers a comprehensive IT services portfolio including managed and cloud based services, such as managed hosting, datacentre virtualisation and application management.

Guardian Media Group (GMG) has sold its 50.1% stake in Trader Media Group (TMG) to its joint venture partner, the private equity firm Apax Partners. GMG publishes the Guardian newspaper and and will use the proceeds of the deal to invest in and strengthen both. Apax Partners purchased its initial 49.9% stake in TMG in 2007. TMG is best known for its Auto Trader branded website.

The private equity firm HgCapital has acquired a majority stake in the contract hire and leasing company Zenith.

Fusion IP, owner of the rights to all university-owned research generated by the University of Sheffield, the University of Nottingham, Cardiff University and Swansea University, has been taken over by IP Group for £88m.

The electronic cigarette company VAPESTICK has been acquired by Victory Electronic Cigarettes.

Liberty Services has been sold by the private equity firm PHD Equity Partners to Capita. Liberty is a provider of print services which support the issuing, management and collection of Penalty Charge Notices in the parking enforcement sector.

Bank of Montreal has acquired F&C Asset Management for £708m.

The social game developer Zynga has acquired the mobile game developer NaturalMotion for £320m. Zynga is best known for making the FarmVille series of games.

The carpet manufacturer Victoria has agreed a £16m deal to buy Globesign and its wholly owned subsidiary, Westex Carpets.

Callcredit Information Group has acquired the analytical software service and consultancy provider Coactiva. The deal gives Callcredit ownership of the Aspireview performance management software program, which has 23,000 users across the UK.

The footwear retailer Shoon has been acquired by Ken Bartle and Peter Phillips, two of the best known names in the footwear industry. Shoon was bought out of administration by the retail restructuring specialist GA Europe in May 2012.

The private equity firm Electra has bought a majority stake in Hotter Shoes, one of the UK’s largest shoe manufacturers. Hotter was established in 1959 and sells over two million pairs of shoes each year in the UK and internationally.

Delcam, a supplier of advanced CAD/CAM software to the manufacturing industry, has been taken over by the American computer software company Autodesk.

The Irish IT company Version 1 has acquired its second UK company with the purchase of the IT consultancy Rocela Group.

The fuel logistics company World Fuel Services has acquired the fuel distribution business Watson Petroleum for £116m.

The private equity firm YFM has backed the management buyout of Leengate Valves, a wholesaler, stockist and distributor of industrial valves.

Eden Springs, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of water coolers, coffee & hot drink machines, has bought UK rival Kafevend, in a deal which sees ISIS Equity Partners exit the vending machine supplier.

Cineworld, the UK’s second-largest cinema operator, has expanded into central and eastern Europe with the acquisition of Cinema City International (CCI) for £272m. The deal will see CCI’s chief executive Mooky Greidinger take over as chief executive of the enlarged group.

The rice supplier Tilda, established by the Thakrar family in 1972, has been bought by the American food company Hain Celestial. Tilda is best known for its basmati rice brand.

Europa Support Services, a provider of facilities management services, has been taken over by the German engineering company Bilfinger. The deal, which will see Europa rebranded as Bilfinger Europa Facility Management, enables Bilfinger to offer a pan-European and global facilities management service.

AMEC, the international engineering and environmental consultancy, has provisionally agreed to acquire Foster Wheeler for £1.9bn. Foster Wheeler Energy is a construction, design and engineering contractor.

Inmarsat has acquired the US maritime communications services provider Globe Wireless for £27m. Inmarsat is a mobile satellite operator within the marine, aeronautical and land-based communication sectors.

AstraZeneca has announced it is to buy Bristol-Myers Squibb’s share in the companies’ diabetes alliance for £2.6bn. The deal will give AstraZeneca ownership of the intellectual property and global rights for the development, manufacture and commercialisation of the diabetes business., one of the UK’s largest hosted desktop providers, has been acquired by Nasstar.

The private equity firm Inflexion has sold Optionis Group to funds managed by MML Capital. Optionis offers accountancy and HR services to SMEs.

NCR Corporation has purchased Alaric Systems, a provider of software services to the financial industry which was established in 1997.

The private equity firm LDC has backed the management buyout of GMG Property Services a provider of software services to estate agents. GMG will be rebranded The Property Software Group upon completion of the deal.

The network-based managed services business Redcentric has acquired InTechnology Managed Services. The £65m deal creates one of the largest independent managed services businesses in the UK.

The US conference calling company PGi has purchased Via-Vox, a conferencing services provider to small and midsize businesses, for £32m. Via-Vox trades as Powwownow.

The advertising agency Inferno has been taken over by Draftfcb.

Essentra, a supplier of speciality plastic, fibre, foam and packaging products, has acquired the Turkish lock manufacturer Mesan.

Thomas Cook has sold Essential Travel Limited to the Holiday Extras Group for £2m. Essential Travel specialises in ancillary travel products.

The construction company Stobbarts has been acquired by the American company Jacobs. The deal will see Stobbarts trade as Jacobs Stobbarts within the Jacobs field services division.

NAMSA, one of the world’s leading medical research organisations, has acquired Medvance. The deal will see Medvance, a clinical research and resourcing organisation, rebranded to NAMSA Medvance.

Central Insurance Services, one of Scotland’s largest insurance brokers, has been purchased by Marsh, an acquisition which strengthens Marsh’s position in the Scottish market. Central Insurance was established in 1973 and has offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The Belgian businessman Roland Duchâtelet has acquired Charlton Athletic FC, via his company Staprix NV. Charlton Athletic, currently fighting relegation from the Championship, will hope the takeover signals a return to the Premier League, which the club was last part of in the 2006-07 season.

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