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2016 Company Mergers And Acquisitions

List of company mergers and acquisitions that took place in the UK in 2016

UK M&A Activity October to December 2016

CCL Industries buys banknote manufacturer Innovia

Fri, 23/12/2016 Innovia, a manufacturer of banknotes in the U.K., Australia and Mexico, has been acquired by the Canadian company CCL Industries. The £680m deal makes CCL a leader in the polymer banknote industry, an example of which can be seen in the UK where Innovia manufactures the new polymer £5 banknote for the Bank of England.

200 jobs saved as Lloyds British Testing bought by Speedy Hire

Fri, 23/12/2016 Lloyds British Testing has been acquired by Speedy Hire, in a deal which rescues 200 jobs. Lloyds British, which provides a range of inspection services, went into administration in November 2016.

Onex Corporation takes over Parkdean Resorts for £1.35bn

Thu, 22/12/2016 The Canadian private equity firm Onex Corporation has acquired Parkdean Resorts for £1.35bn. Parkdean Resorts, formed through a merger in 2015, owns and operates 73 caravan holiday parks across the UK.

Victoria plc buys Dunlop Flooring

Thu, 22/12/2016 Victoria plc, owner of the carpet brand Victoria Carpets, has further expanded its Australian operations with the £20m acquisition of Dunlop Flooring, an underlay and hard wood flooring manufacturer and distributor.

Notts County FC bought by local businessman Alan Hardy

Thu, 22/12/2016 Notts County FC, the world’s oldest association football club, has been bought by local businessman Alan Hardy. The club is currently battling to avoid relegation from the Football League.

Arena Group buys Docucentric Holdings

Thu, 22/12/2016 Arena Group is expanding into North Wales following the announcement that it has bought Docucentric Holdings, owner of B2 Business Systems Ltd and Business Systems (North Wales) Ltd.

Diversis Capital acquires ServicePower Technologies

Thu, 22/12/2016 The US company Diversis Capital has agreed to buy ServicePower Technologies for £13.65m. ServicePower is a provider of software products and services.

Heatrod Elements buys E. Braude

Thu, 22/12/2016 Heatrod Elements has strengthened its UK manufacturing base with the acquisition of thermal process equipment specialists E. Braude.

LFI Tollblend acquired by Lesaffre

Thu, 22/12/2016 The French yeast specialist Lesaffre has continued its expansion in the Western Europe market with the acquisition of LFI Tollblend. Based in Worcester, LFI provides ingredient mixes to the baking and processed foods sector. takes over PrettyLittleThing

Thu, 22/12/2016 The online fashion retailer has acquired 66% of PrettyLittleThing for £3.3m.

Pressure Technologies buys Martract for £4.3m

Thu, 22/12/2016 The engineering company Martract has been bought by Pressure Technologies for £4.3m. Established in 1978, Martract specialises in the grinding and lapping of ball and seat assemblies and gate valves.

RSK Group broadens offering with acquisition of ADAS UK

Wed, 21/12/2016 RSK Group has added agricultural and additional environmental services to its portfolio with the acquisition of ADAS UK. RSK is now one of the biggest environmental consultancies in the UK. ADAS is a provider of agricultural and environmental consultancy, rural development services and policy advice. The deal will see 300 ADAS employees based at more than 15 sites transfer across to RSK.

Stonegate Pub Company buys iNTERTAIN from Better Capital

Wed, 21/12/2016 iNTERTAIN has been sold by Better Capital to Stonegate Pub Company for £39.5m. iNTERTAIN owns the Walkabout brand of Australian themed bars.

American publishers HighWire Press buys Semantico

Wed, 21/12/2016 Semantico, a provider of technology and services to the scholarly publishing industry, has been taken over by the American publishing company HighWire Press. The deal consolidates HighWire’s operations in the UK following the recent opening of an office in Belfast, and adds to HighWire’s growing capabilities in the UK and EMEA markets.

Advent International acquires Brammer

Wed, 21/12/2016 The industrial and engineering products distributors Brammer has been bought by the private equity firm Advent International for £221.5m.

Heineken takes over 1,900 pubs in deal with Punch Taverns

Wed, 21/12/2016 Heineken is to become the third-largest pub business in the UK following the acquisition of Punch Taverns, a deal it has made in conjunction with the investment firm Patron Capital. Vine Acquisitions, an investment vehicle, is to purchase Punch for £402.7m and then sell 1,900 pubs to Heineken for £300m.

Equistone buys majority stake in T.O.M. Vehicle Rental

Wed, 21/12/2016 The private equity firm Equistone has bought a majority stake in T.O.M. Vehicle Rental. Established in 1991, T.O.M. is a provider of long-term, flexible hire of commercial vehicles to clients in the public and private sectors.

Just Eat snaps up rivals hungryhouse and SkipTheDishes

Wed, 21/12/2016 Just Eat has consolidated its position as a market leader in the online food delivery market with the acquisitions of hungryhouse for £200m and SkipTheDishes for £66m. hungryhouse, established in 2006, is partnered with more than 10,000 UK restaurant and enables consumers to search, read reviews, order and pay online. The acquisition of SkipTheDishes enables Just Eat to expand into the Canadian market.

NES Global Talent buys Frontica Advantage

Tue, 20/12/2016 NES Global Talent has further developed its position as one of the world’s leading oil and gas staffing providers with the acquisition of the Norwegian company Frontica Advantage.

MediaCom acquires Code Computerlove

Tue, 20/12/2016 MediaCom has strengthened its platform build, experience design and conversion optimisation offerings with the acquisition of Code Computerlove. Established in 1999, Code is a Manchester-based digital agency.

ARM takes over Allinea Software

Tue, 20/12/2016 Allinea Software has been acquired by the technology company ARM. Allinea specialises in developing software for high performance computing (HPC) systems, with clients including the US Department of Energy and NASA. The acquisition is ARM’s first since it was taken over by the Japanese company Softbank, and is part of its long term strategy to expand into the HPC sector.

AFCO acquires J&W Whewell

Tue, 20/12/2016 The chemicals manufacturer J&W Whewell has been taken over by the American company AFCO.

Be Heard Group buys Kameleon Worldwide

Mon, 19/12/2016 The content marketing agency Kameleon Worldwide has been acquired by Be Heard Group. The deal, worth up to £10m, is part of Be Heard’s plan to build a digital marketing services group.

Thomas Cook takes over Co-op Travel retail stores

Mon, 19/12/2016 Thomas Cook now owns 100% of the Thomas Cook and The Co-operative Travel retail stores following The Co-operative’s decision to sell its stake in the joint venture which operates both brands. The Co-op will receive £50m plus interest and plans to reinvest this money in its core business areas. Thomas Cook is able to continue using the Co-operative Travel brand until November 2018.

Drax seals £340m deal for Opus Energy

Mon, 19/12/2016 Drax has continued its drive to diversify its business with the acquisition of Opus Energy for £340m. Drax believes the deal will enable it to “change the way energy is generated, supplied and used” and support the UK's decarbonisation targets.

Envisage Group buys Concept Group International

Mon, 19/12/2016 Concept Group International has been bought by Envisage Group. Concept helps its clients design and build concept cars, prototypes and low-volume vehicles.

Japanese food company Nagatanien acquires Chaucer

Mon, 19/12/2016 Freeze-dried foods and specialist bread products manufacturer Chaucer has been bought by the Japanese company Nagatanien. The deal enables Chaucer to expand its global operations.

£11.7bn deal sees 21st Century Fox agree to buy Sky

Fri, 16/12/2016 21st Century Fox has agreed to buy Sky in a deal worth £11.7bn. 21st Century Fox was a founding shareholder of Sky and currently holds a 39.1% stake in the entertainment company, a position it says is “not a natural end state”. 21st Century Fox intends to complete a £1bn investment programme at Sky's UK headquarters in Osterley. Tom Watson, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has called for the proposed deal to be referred to Ofcom, so that it can “assess whether it would result in too much media power being concentrated in too few hands”. James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son, is both chairman of Sky and chief executive of Fox.

SG Fleet acquires Motiva Group

Wed, 07/12/2016 SG Fleet has bought Motiva Group, a provider of contract hire, short-term rental and fleet management services. The £12m deal strengthens SG’s position in the specialist light commercial vehicle segment.

Spirax-Sarco business Watson-Marlow takes over Aflex

Wed, 07/12/2016 The flexible hose manufacturer Aflex has been taken over by Spirax-Sarco Engineering. The £61m deal will see Aflex, which is headquartered in Halifax with a sales and assembly operation in Pennsylvania, integrated into Watson-Marlow, Spirax-Sarco’s specialist pumps and associated fluid path technologies business.

Gem Scientific buys Northern Balance

Wed, 07/12/2016 Gem Scientific has expanded its calibrations business with the acquisition of Northern Balance. Established in 1971, Northern Balance specialises in balance and scales. The deal is part of Gem Scientific’s efforts to expand into the life sciences, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, education, manufacturing and medical technology sectors.

Accenture acquires Karmarama

Tue, 06/12/2016 Karmarama has been taken over by Accenture. Established in 2000, Karmarama is an advertising agency which specialises in creating consumer campaigns for clients such as the BBC,, Honda, Just Eat and Unilever. Karmarama will work closely with Accenture Interactive, Accenture’s digital and interactive marketing services division.

HB Clark taken over by Kitwave

Tue, 06/12/2016 The alcohol wholesaler HB Clark has been acquired by Kitwave. The deal enables Kitwave to expand its offering and customer base across the north of England.

Dunelm Group buys WS Group assets

Tue, 06/12/2016 Dunelm Group has spent £8.5m purchasing the assets of WS Group. The deal includes Worldstores, Kiddicare and Achica. Kiddicare is an online retailer of baby products and accessories which was established in 1974.

JD Sports acquires Go Outdoors for £112m

Tue, 06/12/2016 Go Outdoors has been taken over by JD Sports. The £112m deal gives JD Sports control of 58 stores across the UK, the majority located in out of town retail parks.

Skyscanner bought for £1.4bn by Chinese counterpart Ctrip

Thu, 24/11/2016 The online travel search engine Skyscanner is the latest British technology company to undergo a change of ownership with the announcement that it has been acquired by the Chinese company Ctrip, in a deal which values Skyscanner at £1.4bn. Ctrip specialises in accommodation reservations, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel management. A market leader in China, it believes this acquisition will strengthen its position in the global travel industry.

Bupa seals £835m deal for Oasis Dental Care

Thu, 24/11/2016 The private equity firm Bridgepoint has sold Oasis Dental Care to Bupa for £835m. The deal gives Bupa access to the UK’s £7.1bn dental market, with over 2m customers, over 1,800 clinicians and 420 clinics.

National Living Wage to rise to £7.50

Thu, 24/11/2016 From 1 April 2017 the National Living Wage will increase from £7.20 to £7.50. The National Living Wage is the minimum amount per hour it is legal to pay an employee aged over 25. The National Minimum Wage for 21 to 24 year olds increases to £7.05 per hour, for 18 to 20 year olds it becomes £5.60 per hour, 16 to 17 year olds must be paid at least £4.05 per hour, and the rate for apprentices goes up to £3.50 per hour.

Sale of Hewden's assets begins following administration

Thu, 24/11/2016 The UK's largest specialist equipment hire company Hewden has gone into administration, resulting in 250 employees being made redundant with immediate effect. Three divisions of the Group have been acquired by Ashtead Plant Hire Company: the access and power generation assets, the on-site plant business and the business and assets of Interlift Limited, in addition to the Hewden brand name. A total of 133 employees will transfer across with these businesses. The remaining Hewden staff are waiting for a buyer to be found for the crane business and depots.

Daisy buys Alternative Networks for £165.3m

Thu, 24/11/2016 The telecommunications specialist Daisy has acquired Alternative Networks for £165.3m. The deal expands the range of mobile and fixed line products and services that Daisy offers.

Morrisons revives the Safeway brand

Tue, 22/11/2016 Morrisons is to revive the Safeway brand for a range of convenience products for wholesale to independent retailers. Morrisons bought the Safeway supermarket chain in 2004. Morrisons is also to pilot a range of convenience foods, Morrisons Daily, in ten petrol station shops owned and managed by the forecourt operator, Rontec. Four Morrisons Daily shops will open before Christmas and a further six in January. Morrisons is already trialling a convenience products offer with another forecourt operator, Motor Fuel Group. Morrisons sold off its convenience store chain M Local last year.

MSL Solutions acquires Verteda

Mon, 21/11/2016 Verteda has been taken over by the Australian technology company MSL Solutions. Verteda specialises in developing software for the hospitality sector.

MJ Hudson announces double acquisition of Allenbridge and Tower Gate Capital

Fri, 18/11/2016 MJ Hudson has bought the investment advisory firm Allenbridge, and the outsourced fund management provider Tower Gate Capital. The acquisitions mean MJ Hudson is now able to offer a full range of asset management and investment infrastructure services to fund managers, advisers and institutional investors.

Cranswick buys Dunbia Ballymena

Fri, 18/11/2016 The food producer Cranswick has acquired the pork processer Dunbia Ballymena.

Fieldfisher and Hill Hofstetter plan merger

Fri, 18/11/2016 The law firms Fieldfisher and Hill Hofstetter have agreed to merge. Hill Hofstetter specialises in corporate, litigation, real estate and employment law. The newly combined firm is planning to move to new headquarters in Birmingham in April 2017.

JSA Services acquires Paysure

Fri, 18/11/2016 The contractor accounting firm Paysure has been bought by JSA Services. The acquisition, JSA’s sixth in the last two and a half years, further expands the range of specialist accountancy, payroll and employment services to the UK’s contractors and freelancers JSA is able to offer.

Exertis takes over Medium

Thu, 17/11/2016 The AV distributor Medium has been acquired by Exertis. Medium specialises in the distribution of projectors, flat panel displays, interactive systems and digital signage products. Exertis believes the deal, along with its recent purchase of server and storage specialist Hammer, will enable it to offer a complete range of technology services and products.

Staples brand to be phased out following sale to Hilco Capital

Thu, 17/11/2016 Staples has sold its UK retail business and operations to the turnaround and restructuring specialist Hilco Capital for a nominal fee. The deal enables the American company to focus on its North American and mid-market business. Hilco is to phase out the Staples brand over the next few months..

AXA sells Bluefin Insurance Group to Marsh

Thu, 17/11/2016 Marsh, a world leader in insurance broking and risk management, has taken over Bluefin Insurance Group from AXA. Bluefin will be merged with Jelf into a single business unit acting as an insurance broker for mid-size and SME companies.

Franchise Brands acquires Barking Mad

Thu, 17/11/2016 The pet care franchise Barking Mad has been taken over by Franchise Brands. The deal is part of Franchise’s strategy to grow by purchasing “high quality” franchise businesses. Barking Mad was established in 2000 and provides dog sitting services.

Engineering services business Renew acquires Giffen

Thu, 17/11/2016 The engineering services group Renew has acquired Giffen for £5m. Headquartered in Croydon, Giffen works for both Network Rail and London Underground, specialising in mechanical, electrical and power services.

Portman Travel and Clarity Travel Management agree merger

Wed, 16/11/2016 The UK’s seventh-biggest travel management company has been formed following the merger of Portman Travel and Clarity Travel Management.

Servest acquires Catering Academy

Wed, 16/11/2016 The facilities management provider Servest has expanded its catering division with the acquisition of Catering Academy. Established in 2004, Catering Academy has clients in the business and industry, education and healthcare sectors.

SHB Hire takes over Acklea

Wed, 16/11/2016 Acklea, a supplier of traffic management equipment, has been taken over by SHB Hire. The deal furthers SHB’s aim of being a “partner of choice” for the highways maintenance and infrastructure market.

SPIE acquires Triosgroup

Wed, 16/11/2016 SPIE has strengthened its UK technical facility management division with the acquisition of Triosgroup. Established in 1919, Triosgroup specialises in providing facilities maintenance services.

Synopsys takes over software security specialists Cigital

Tue, 15/11/2016Cigital, a provider of software security services, has been acquired by the American software company Synopsys. The deal includes Codiscope, a spinoff from Cigital which specialises in complementary security tools.

Apogee Corporation acquires Hibernian Business Equipment

Tue, 15/11/2016 The Irish print management company Hibernian Business Equipment has been taken over by Apogee Corporation. The expansion into Ireland gives Apogee additional offices in Limerick, Dublin and Galway. Apogee is a provider of managed print services and is backed by the private equity firm Equistone Partners.

Proactis acquires Millstream Associates in £15.5m deal

Tue, 15/11/2016 The software company Proactis has bought Millstream Associates for £15.5m. Millstream specialises in providing eProcurement services to clients in the public sector.

NCC Group buys Virtual Security Research

Tue, 15/11/2016 The American cyber security consultancy Virtual Security Research (VSR) has been acquired by NCC Group. The £5m deal enhances NCC’s position in the north-eastern region of North America, where VSR is headquartered.

American Apparel UK in administration

Wed, 09/11/2016 American Apparel’s UK business has gone into administration. The UK retail and wholesale operation of the US branded high street fashion retailer operates from 13 stores. The American Apparel brand and US business are being sold and the UK operation, which is not part of the sale and has been experiencing trading difficulties, is likely to be wound down.

Tesco Bank hit by fraudsters

Tue, 08/11/2016 Around 40,000 Tesco Bank customers’ current accounts have been subject to online criminal activity, in some cases resulting in money being withdrawn fraudulently. All of the bank’s online transactions from current accounts were temporarily halted as a precautionary measure. Tesco Bank is refunding all customer current accounts that have been subjected to online criminal activity but is yet to explain to how the fraud took place.

NSM Insurance Group buys Vantage Holdings

Thu, 03/11/2016 NSM Insurance Group has acquired Vantage Holdings, owner of Vantage Insurance.

Bunzl wraps up deal for Tri-Star Packaging Supplies

Thu, 03/11/2016 The distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl has acquired Tri-Star Packaging Supplies. Based near London, Tri-Star specialises in the distribution of food packaging and foodservice products.

Servest acquires building services contractor Arthur McKay

Wed, 02/11/2016 Servest has taken over Arthur McKay as it continues with its growth and diversification strategy. Servest, which is trying to become one of the top five FM service providers in the UK, plans to integrate Arthur McKay into its building services division. Established in 1958, Arthur McKay is one of the UK’s leading providers of building support services.

Apogee Corporation takes over Direct Business Systems

Wed, 02/11/2016 Apogee Corporation has acquired Direct Business Systems, a provider of multi-functional copiers, printers, scanners and support services. This is Apogee’s third takeover this year and it is planning to continue to expand via further acquisitions in the UK and across Europe.

Evotec to acquire Cyprotex in £41.7m deal

Wed, 02/11/2016 The preclinical contract research organisation Cyprotex is to be taken over by the German company Evotec for £41.7m. Cyprotex is aiming to target mid-sized European pharmaceutical companies as part of its growth plans, and believes that Evotec’s strong presence in this sector will help it achieve this.

LDC backs MBO of software developer Mitrefinch

Wed, 02/11/2016 The private equity firm LDC has backed the management buyout of the software developer Mitrefinch. The deal, which includes £20m of investment, will enable Mitrefinch to expand overseas in the USA, Canada and Australia. Mitrefinch specialises in human capital management software.

Ancala Fornia to acquire Dee Valley Group in £71.3m deal

Wed, 02/11/2016 Dee Valley Group is to be taken over by an investment vehicle controlled by Ancala Fornia in a deal worth £71.3m. Dee Valley supplies water to North East Wales and the North West of England.

Groupe Eurotunnel sells GB Railfreight to EQT

Mon, 31/10/2016 GB Railfreight, the UK’s third largest rail freight operator, has been sold by Groupe Eurotunnel to the Swedish private equity firm EQT.

Essential Recruitment undergoes MBO

Mon, 31/10/2016 A management buyout has been completed at Chesterfield-headquartered Essential Recruitment.

Playtech buys ECM Systems

Mon, 31/10/2016 Playtech has bought the bingo software company ECM Systems. The £14.9m deal strengthens Playtech’s position in the UK retail bingo market.

Living Wage Foundation announces new rates

Mon, 31/10/2016 The Living Wage Foundation has announced new living wage rates for the UK and London. The UK rate increases from £8.25 to £8.45 per hour, and the London rate goes up from £9.40 to £9.75 per hour. The UK wide figure is 17% higher than the government minimum for over 25s. There are nearly 3,000 accredited Living Wage employers in the UK, with Everton FC, the British Library, RSA Insurance, Curzon Cinemas and DLA Piper all announcing today that they are signing up for accreditation. Everton's decision to sign up means that there are now two accredited Living Wage employers in the Premier League

Polyframe Group acquires The Window Bureau

Mon, 31/10/2016 The Window Bureau has been acquired by Polyframe Group. The Window Bureau was established in 1981 and is a manufacturer of PVCu windows and doors, GRP composite doors and PVCu door infill panels for the trade sector. The deal fits in with Polyframe’s strategic aim of being a market leading trade fabricator of high quality windows and doors.

Coty acquires ghd for £420m

Fri, 28/10/2016 The premium hairstyling brand ghd has been bought by Coty for £420m. ghd will be integrated into Coty’s professional beauty division.

Ruling states that Uber drivers are entitled to National Minimum Wage and paid holiday

Fri, 28/10/2016 The London Central Employment Tribunal has ruled that a group of Uber drivers are not self-employed but are workers entitled to workers’ rights including the National Minimum Wage and paid holiday. The ruling is likely to lead to other workers operating in the fast growing “gig economy” making similar claims.

Twitter discontinues Vine

Fri, 28/10/2016 Twitter has announced it is to discontinue the mobile video sharing app Vine. Launched in 2013, Vine allows users to share looping six second video clips. The video app sector is extremely competitive, and Vine is perceived to have struggled as rival services such as Snapchat and Instagram have increased in popularity.

Future of 7,000 workers secured as Nissan announces new investment in Sunderland car plant

Thu, 27/10/2016 In a major boost to the UK car industry, Nissan has announced it is to produce the next Qashqai at its plant in Sunderland. In addition, it has added production of the next X-Trail model. Nissan says that as a result of the “support and assurances of the UK government”, it will increase investment at the plant, securing the future of 7,000 workers. The decision is the first major one to be made by the car industry since the UK voted to leave the EU in June.

Heathrow expansion gets go-ahead

Tue, 25/10/2016 The Government has announced its support for a new runway at Heathrow Airport. The Government believes the new runway will bring benefits worth up to £61bn to the economy and create up to 77,000 additional local jobs over the next 14 years. The new runway will be the first new full length runway built in the South East since the Second World War.

Travis Perkins to close over 30 branches

Thu, 20/10/2016 Travis Perkins has issued a profits warning and is to close over 30 branches with the loss of 600 jobs. The building materials supplier says that its plumbing and heating division has performed disappointingly and that future levels of future demand are difficult to predict. The company is also closing 10 smaller distribution and fabrication centres and writing off IT legacy equipment.

The Delivery Group acquires P2P

Thu, 20/10/2016 The Delivery Group (TDG) has expanded with the acquisition of the international e-commerce logistics operator P2P. TDG is backed by the private equity firm Next Wave Partners.

Sodexo acquires procurement specialist PSL

Thu, 20/10/2016 The procurement specialist PSL has been acquired by Sodexo. Established in 1993, PSL provides fresh food procurement services to the UK hospitality industry.

Man Group launches new business following takeover of Aalto Invest

Thu, 20/10/2016 Man Group has launched a private markets offering, Man Global Private Markets, following the announcement it has bought Aalto Invest. Established in 2010, Aalto is a real asset focused investment manager with offices in the UK, USA and Switzerland.

All UK Banana Republic stores to close

Wed, 19/10/2016 US clothing retailer Gap is to close all 8 of its Banana Republic stores in the UK. The company will now focus on the brand in North America following a period of falling sales.

600 Group acquires machine tools business from Kondia

Tue, 18/10/2016 600 Group has bought the entire manual machine tools business of the Spanish company Kondia, which went into administration in 2015. The deal includes the Kondia name, all IP and an inventory of spare parts which is worth more than the acquisition costs.

Swiss Life AM buys Mayfair Capital

Tue, 18/10/2016 Mayfair Capital Investment Management has been bought by Swiss Life Asset Managers. Mayfair is a real estate investment management company and the acquisition creates a pan European business covering Switzerland, Germany, France and the UK.

Asahi Europe acquires Miller Brands

Tue, 18/10/2016 Miller Brands has been taken over by Asahi Europe Ltd. Miller, which has rebranded to Asahi UK, will continue to own well known brands such as Peroni Nastro Azzurro, St Stefanus, Pilsner Urquell and Kozel.

Inflation rises to 1%

Tue, 18/10/2016 The rate of inflation rose to 1% in the year to September 2016, compared with 0.6% in August. Rising prices for clothing, overnight hotel stays and motor fuels were the chief contributors to the increase. Inflation remains low by historic standards but it is expected to rise over the coming months as the falling pound increases the price of imports.

HgCapital-backed CogitalGroup acquires accountancy firm Baldwins

Tue, 18/10/2016 The accountancy firm Baldwins has been taken over by CogitalGroup. Consisting of Blick Rothenberg, the former BPO Division of Visma and Baldwins, CogitalGroup is backed by the private equity firm HgCapital and will offer a range of outsourcing, accounting, payroll, taxation, financial and other advisory services.

Brown Shipley takes over The Roberts Partnership

Tue, 18/10/2016 The Roberts Partnership has been acquired by Brown Shipley. The Roberts Partnership is a financial planning and wealth management company based in Manchester. The deal enables Brown Shipley to offer an enhanced wealth planning service to its clients.

WSP Global buys Mouchel Consulting from Kier Group

Mon, 17/10/2016 Kier Group has sold Mouchel Consulting to WSP Global for £75m. Mouchel Consulting provides engineering, environmental and asset management consultancy services to infrastructure markets. Kier will use the money raised to reduce debt and for future investment opportunities.

Walker Greenbank acquires Clarke & Clarke in £42.5m deal

Mon, 17/10/2016 Walker Greenbank, the owner of luxury brands such as Sanderson and Harlequin, has agreed to buy Clarke & Clarke in a deal which could be worth up to £42.5m. Clarke & Clarke is a designer and distributor of interior fabrics and wallcoverings.

Cinven and CVC Capital Partners acquire NewDay

Thu, 13/10/2016 The consumer finance provider NewDay has been taken over by the private equity firms Cinven and CVC Capital Partners. NewDay operates across two business segments: Near-Prime, which provides credit cards to consumers who are shunned by mainstream lenders, and Co-brand, which provides credit cards in partnership with well-known retailers such as Debenhams and House of Fraser.

Metronet buys M247 for £47.5m

Thu, 13/10/2016 The network services provider Metronet has bought M247 for £47.5m. Established in 2000, M247 is an internet infrastructure and hosting company which has operations in Manchester and Bucharest. The deal means Metronet is able to offer a full range of wireless network services, datacentres and managed hosting services across the UK and Europe.

BT sells retail IT software division BT Expedite to Aptos

Thu, 13/10/2016 BT has sold its retail IT software specialist division, BT Expedite, to Aptos. BT Expedite was already an exclusive reseller of Aptos services in Europe.

4Ps Marketing acquired by Netbooster

Thu, 13/10/2016 The search experience agency 4Ps Marketing has been taken over by Netbooster.

Intas Pharmaceuticals acquires Actavis UK and Ireland for £600m

Thu, 13/10/2016 Teva Pharmaceutical has sold the UK division of its generics business, Actavis, to Intas Pharmaceuticals for £600m. Headquartered in India, Intas will integrate Actavis into Accord Healthcare.

Deutsche Post DHL strikes £242.7m deal for UK Mail

Thu, 13/10/2016 UK Mail has agreed a takeover offer from Deutsche Post DHL. The £242.7m deal further establishes Deutsche Post’s position in the UK, Europe’s largest e-commerce market. Established in 1971, UK Mail will use Deutsche Post’s resources to continue to invest in automation, product and service innovation.

Victoria plc seals £13m deal for Ezi Floor

Wed, 12/10/2016 The business and assets of underlay manufacturer Ezi Floor have been acquired by Victoria plc in a deal worth up to £13m. Victoria, established in 1895, is a carpet manufacturer.

Paragon Bank buys Premier Asset Finance

Wed, 12/10/2016 Paragon Bank has enhanced its asset finance division with the acquisition Premier Asset Finance, in a deal that could be worth as much as £20.5m.

Fujitsu to cut up to 1,800 UK jobs

Wed, 12/10/2016 Fujitsu is to cut up to 1,800 jobs in the UK as part of a ‘transformation programme’. The Japanese IT firm employs around 10,000 people in the UK. The union Unite called the job losses ‘a hammer blow’ to the British economy and says that workers will be affected at Fujitsu’s major sites which include Belfast, Bracknell, Crewe, Derry, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington.

Samsung says "customer safety is our top priority" as it discontinues Galaxy Note7

Wed, 12/10/2016 The electronics company Samsung, one of Apple's main competitors in the lucrative smartphone market, has been forced to discontinue production of the Galaxy Note7 smartphone. The decision follows a month of bad publicity for the South Korean firm, as consumers reported issues with the device overheating, catching fire and in some extreme cases, exploding. Samsung attempted to provide replacements for the faulty handsets but this failed to resolve the issue. These problems led to airlines around the world banning the device from their aircraft.

Ring Automotive acquires Carnation Designs

Wed, 12/10/2016 Carnation Designs has been taken over by Ring Automotive. Carnation specialises in power management and equipment control systems and will use the fresh investment to drive new product development.

NVM Private Equity backs MBO of Presteigne Broadcast Hire

Wed, 12/10/2016 NVM Private Equity has backed the management buyout of Presteigne Broadcast Hire. Headquartered in Crawley, Presteigne supplies broadcast equipment and services to some of the world’s largest sporting events, including the Rio 2016 Olympics and Formula 1.

Park Group acquires Fisher Moy International

Mon, 10/10/2016 Fisher Moy International, a company which specialises in corporate employee and customer engagement, has been acquired by Park Group. The deal strengthens the rewards and incentivisation programmes Park Group provides to the corporate market.

Euro Garages and European Forecourt Retail Group agree merger

Mon, 10/10/2016 The forecourt operators Euro Garages and European Forecourt Retail Group have agreed to merge, in a deal which creates a market leader petrol forecourt retailer across the UK, France and Benelux. A holding company called Intervias has been established, along with a small corporate office in London. Euro Garages and European Forecourt Retail Group will continue to operate as separate brands.

Imagination Technologies sells Pure radio business to AVenture

Mon, 10/10/2016 Imagination Technologies has sold the digital radio manufacturer Pure to the Austrian investment company AVenture. Established in 2002, Pure has sold more than 5m digital radios with its core markets being home audio and automotive.

Inspired Energy seals £2.25m deal for Informed Business Solutions

Mon, 10/10/2016 Informed Business Solutions has been taken over by Inspired Energy for £2.25m. Informed is an energy procurement and environmental services provider. Inspired Energy is an energy procurement consultant to UK corporates.

Phoenix Group prepares £935m acquisition of Abbey Life

Fri, 07/10/2016 The insurance company Abbey Life is to be bought by Phoenix Group for £935m. Established in 1961, Abbey Life has been closed to new retail business since 2000.

Andrew Page taken over by LKQ Corporation

Fri, 07/10/2016 The future of car parts distributor Andrew Page has been secured following the announcement that it has been acquired by the American motor parts distributor LKQ Corporation, owner of Euro Car Parts in the UK.

True Capital buys The Cotswold Company

Fri, 07/10/2016 The private equity firm True Capital has acquired The Cotswold Company. The online furniture retailer will use the fresh investment to accelerate online growth, expand product and category ranges and increase its showroom footprint across the UK.

Janus Capital Group and Henderson Group to merge

Wed, 05/10/2016 The asset management companies Janus Capital Group and Henderson Group have agreed to merge, creating a new company which will be known as Janus Henderson Global Investors.

NCC Group acquires Payment Software Company

Wed, 05/10/2016 The American cyber security and payment consultancy Payment Software Company has been bought by NCC Group.

UK M&A Activity July to September 2016

Keysource acquired by Styles & Wood

Wed, 28/09/2016 The property services company Styles & Wood has continued its diversification strategy with the acquisition of Keysource, a provider of specialist services to data centre and critical facilities operators. The deal means Styles & Wood can expand into the fast growing data centre services sector.

SWP Group completes £18.3m MBO

Wed, 28/09/2016 A £18.3m management buyout has been completed at the engineered services company SWP Group.

Brodex buys Trident Environmental Services

Wed, 28/09/2016 The water treatment company Brodex has bought Trident Environmental Services.

Callcredit Information Group acquires Recipero

Wed, 28/09/2016 Callcredit Information Group has further enhanced its fraud and identity protection strategy with the acquisition of Recipero. Established in 2000, Recipero has developed one of the world’s largest proprietary databases of IMEI data, information which identifies consumer mobile devices. Recipero will be integrated into Callcredit’s fraud and identity protection solutions division.

Office Depot sells European business division to Aurelius

Wed, 28/09/2016 The American stationery company Office Depot has sold its European business division to the investment company Aurelius. Office Depot Europe trades in 14 countries across the EU using three activities and brands: Viking, Contract and Retail.

BHS to return online

Tue, 27/09/2016 BHS is to be relaunched as an online only retailer by the new owners of the brand. The Qatari Al Mana Group bought the BHS brand and its online customer database when the business collapsed earlier this year. The new business will employ 84 people, most of whom previously worked for the defunct retailer's online operation.

Weber Shandwick buys mobile and digital specialist Flipside

Wed, 21/09/2016 The mobile and digital agency Flipside has been bought by Weber Shandwick. With offices in London and Guildford, Flipside specialises in designing and developing mobile apps and digital experiences for large global brands. The acquisition enables Weber Shandwick to offer a full range of content, community and commerce services.

Finnish company Lindström acquires Enviro Wipes

Wed, 21/09/2016 The Finnish company Lindström has moved into the UK textile wiper market with the acquisition of Enviro Wipes. Established in 1992, Enviro Wipes is a supplier of recyclable industrial wipes. Lindström already operates in the UK in the workwear services sector.

Gateley takes over Hamer Associates

Wed, 21/09/2016 The property consultancy Hamer Associates has been bought by Gateley for £2m. Hamer is to be renamed Gateley Hamer upon completion of the deal.

Ranjit Singh Boparan's Private Office acquires Bernard Matthews

Wed, 21/09/2016 British businessman Ranjit Singh Boparan's private investment arm, Boparan Private Office, has acquired turkey producer Bernard Matthews. Headquartered in Norfolk, Bernard Matthews runs the largest turkey farm in Europe, rearing seven million turkeys each year.

Demand Media acquires The Other Art Fair

Wed, 21/09/2016 The American internet company Demand Media has acquired The Other Art Fair. Established in London in 2011, The Other Art Fair operates shows for discovering emerging artists in Bristol, London and Sydney, with 15,000 attendees expected in London in October 2016.

Pregis acquires Easypack

Tue, 20/09/2016 The protective packaging company Easypack has been taken over by Pregis. The deal includes Easypack’s three UK manufacturing facilities.

Informa announces £1.2bn deal for Penton

Tue, 20/09/2016 The American exhibitions and business publishing group Penton is to be taken over by Informa in a deal worth £1.2bn. The deal strengthens Informa’s global exhibitions and business intelligence divisions and enables the company to further develop its position in the US market.

London Welsh RFC taken over after avoiding wind-up

Tue, 20/09/2016 London Welsh RFC has been bought by a “major Californian based investment group”. News of the deal follows the dismissal of a winding-up petition at the High Court.

Carr's Group sells food division to Whitworths

Tue, 20/09/2016 Carr's Group is to focus on its agriculture and engineering divisions following the announcement that it has sold its food division to Whitworths for £36m. Carr's Flour Mills operates from three locations: Silloth in Cumbria, Kirkcaldy in Fife and Maldon in Essex. It supplies flour to bakeries and food manufacturers across the UK.

Sony launches enhanced PS4 to target 4K market

Thu, 08/09/2016 Sony has launched an enhanced PS4 console in a move which it hopes will develop the market for 4K televisions. The PS4 Pro features a more powerful graphics card and processor and is able to support the latest imaging technologies, including 4K resolution (also known as Ultra HD), High Dynamic Range (HDR) and virtual reality. Netflix and YouTube will support the new console with 4k compatible apps. The launch of PS4 Pro, little more than three years since the original PS4 was released, is a shift in the way the industry operates, with previous lifecycles of 5-6 years being replaced by more frequent launches of new technology. Microsoft is planning to release its next console at the end of 2017.

New owner for Formula 1 in £6bn deal

Thu, 08/09/2016 Liberty Media Corporation is to become the new owner of Formula 1 motor racing, in a deal which values the sport at £6bn. Current owner CVC will hold a 24.7% stake after completion of the deal, with Bernie Ecclestone continuing as chief executive. Liberty believes Formula 1 represents a low risk business model, with £7bn of revenue guaranteed by long term contracts, such as Sky’s exclusive contract to broadcast the sport through to 2024. Liberty plans to grow Formula 1 by expanding the calendar to include more races and exploit the opportunities offered by digital channels more effectively.

UK technology company Micro Focus to merge with HP’s software business division

Thu, 08/09/2016 Micro Focus International, one of the UK’s leading technology companies, has agreed a merger with the Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business division, HPE Software. The £6.6bn deal is one of the biggest to involve a UK technology business, and creates one of the world’s largest infrastructure software companies. HPE Software specialises in IT operations management, application delivery management, enterprise security, information management & governance and big data analytics.

M&S to cut 525 head office roles

Tue, 06/09/2016 Marks & Spencer is to reduce the number of staff working at its head office by around 525. The company plans to achieve the net reduction in employee numbers through a combination of using fewer contractors, natural attrition and redundancies. In addition around 400 IT and logistics roles will be moved out of London as part of the retailer’s strategy to work more simply and more efficiently. The changes are expected to save Marks & Spencer about 1% of its annual UK cost base. The 71,000 people working in the company’s UK stores and supporting customer service functions are not affected by the proposed changes.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen bought by Wimpy owner Famous Brands

Mon, 05/09/2016 Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), operator of 75 premium burger restaurants across the UK, has been bought for £120m by the South African company Famous Brands, owner of Wimpy since 2007.

Maxilin Crawford and Tilley's Sweets become Crawford & Tilley

Mon, 05/09/2016 The sweets manufacturer Maxilin Crawford has expanded the range of products it offers with the acquisition of Tilley’s Sweets for an undisclosed sum. Tilley’s Sweets, established in 1885, is best known for its boiled sweets. Maxilin Crawford’s brands cover a range of liquorice and lollipop products. The newly combined company is to be known as Crawford & Tilley.

Jaywing takes over digital marketing agency Bloom

Mon, 05/09/2016 The digital marketing agency Bloom has been taken over by Jaywing. The deal enables Jaywing to continue its focus on developing data science-led products.

Sertec acquires WILD automotive to continue European expansion

Mon, 05/09/2016 Sertec’s European expansion plans have continued with the acquisition of WILD automotive. Wild, a manufacturer of wire seat frames to the UK automotive industry, has plants in Witton Birmingham, Redditch, Hungary and Germany. The deal means that Sertec, which specialises in steel and aluminium body structural assemblies, now operates ten manufacturing plants across the UK, Germany and Hungary.

Stride Gaming acquires 8Ball, Netboost Media and Tarco Assets

Mon, 05/09/2016 The online bingo company Stride Gaming has increased the number of brands it owns to 105 with the acquisition of 8Ball, Netboost Media and assets from Tarco Ltd.

NorthEdge Capital backs MBO of ITC Luxury Travel

Fri, 02/09/2016 The private equity firm NorthEdge Capital has backed the management buyout of ITC Luxury Travel Group. Established in 1974, ITC was the first travel company to charter Concorde. It is to use the planned investment to improve its IT, management, staff, product and customer service.

Essilor International buys MyOptique Group

Fri, 02/09/2016 Essilor International, a market leader in ophthalmic lenses, has acquired the online optical retailer MyOptique Group.

Datapipe acquires Adapt

Fri, 02/09/2016 The managed cloud services provider Adapt has been acquired by the American company Datapipe.

Keltbray takes over Dunne Group assets

Fri, 02/09/2016 Keltbray has expanded its services portfolio and geographical reach with the acquisition of certain assets of Dunne Group, which went into administration in July. The deal includes Dunne’s former yard, the head office, and the plant used for the construction of reinforced concrete structures.

Wavenet MBO backed by Beech Tree Private Equity

Fri, 02/09/2016 Beech Tree Private Equity has backed the £35m management buyout of Wavenet. Established in 2000, Wavenet specialises in unified communications to SMEs in the UK.

Mallinckrodt acquires Stratatech Corporation

Fri, 02/09/2016 Mallinckrodt has bought Stratatech Corporation, a medicine company which specialises in the development of human skin substitute products. Currently awaiting approval, Stratatech’s products could revolutionise the treatment patients receive for second- and third-degree burns. Mallinckrodt develops, manufactures, markets and distributes speciality pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products and therapies, as well as nuclear imaging products.

Funding pressures force national children's charity to close

Thu, 01/09/2016 The children’s charity 4Children has gone into administration. The national charity providing support to children, young adults and their families collapsed as a result of funding pressures and the loss of key contracts. Many of 4Children’s activities, as well as over 750 employees, have been transferred to Action for Children but all of 4Children’s head office staff have been made redundant. The administrators say that around 1,000 of the 1,050 4Children employees are expected to be transferred to new employers.

Nebulas taken over by SecureLink Group

Wed, 24/08/2016 The cybersecurity company Nebulas has been acquired by SecureLink Group, a market leader in the Benelux and Nordics markets.

German coffee company Tchibo buys Matthew Algie

Wed, 24/08/2016 The independent coffee roaster Matthew Algie has been taken over by the German coffee company Tchibo, which plans to expand its own operations in the UK and Ireland. Tchibo moved forward with the deal claiming to have a high regard for Matthew Algie’s “ethical trading” approach, its training operations and technical customer support, and the Espresso Warehouse brand, which Tchibo believes it can grow and develop across Europe.

Lookers takes over Mercedes-Benz retailer Drayton Group

Wed, 24/08/2016 Lookers has expanded its dealership network with the acquisition of Mercedes-Benz retailer Drayton Group. The £55.4m deal includes seven dealerships, which takes the number controlled by Lookers across the UK to 160. Lookers sold its parts division last month and has immediately reinvested the money in strengthening its motor division. Lookers and Mercedes-Benz are hoping the motor car manufacturer’s share of the UK market will continue to increase in 2017, with launches planned including the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43, Mercedes-AMG GT R and 2017 CLA.

Aegon acquires Cofunds in £140m deal

Wed, 24/08/2016 Cofunds, one of the UK's largest independent investment platforms, has been acquired by Aegon. The £140m deal includes ownership of the Legal & General branded Investor Portfolio Service platform and enables Aegon to upgrade its platform technology.

James Fisher acquires Hughes Sub Surface Engineering

Thu, 18/08/2016 James Fisher and Sons has acquired Hughes Sub Surface Engineering. The deal enables James Fisher to offer a comprehensive portfolio of subsea services to the oil and gas, marine renewables, power generation and marine civil engineering sectors.

Sony Music Entertainment buys Ministry of Sound Recordings

Thu, 18/08/2016 Ministry of Sound Recordings has been bought by Sony Music Entertainment. The deal includes Ministry of Sound Recordings’ artists (including London Grammar, DJ Fresh and Sigala), back catalogue and compilations business.

BiP Solutions acquires Ingenium IDS

Thu, 18/08/2016 The data marketing services company Ingenium IDS has been acquired by BiP Solutions.

Lookers agrees to sell parts business to Alliance Automotive

Thu, 18/08/2016 The motor car dealer Lookers has agreed to sell its parts business to Alliance Automotive. The £120m deal gives Alliance ownership of a distributor of automotive parts which includes brands such as BTN Turbo, FPS and Apec Braking. Lookers is to use the money generated to make acquisitions which add to the group's motor division.

SG Fleet Group completes £26m deal for Fleet Hire

Wed, 17/08/2016 Fleet Hire, a provider of contract hire, short-term rental and fleet management services, has been taken over by the Australian company SG Fleet Group for £26m.

Motor Fuel Group acquires forecourt operators Synergie Holdings and Roadside Group

Wed, 17/08/2016 Motor Fuel Group has expanded its operations with the acquisition of the forecourt operators Synergie Holdings and Roadside Group. Synergie operates a network of 19 forecourts across the North West of England. Roadside runs ten forecourts across the North East of England, with a flagship site at Newcastle Airport. The deals bring the total number of stations managed by Motor Fuel Group in the UK to 405.

Amplify Snack Brands buys Tyrrells from Investcorp

Wed, 17/08/2016 The crisp maker Tyrrells has been sold by Investcorp to the American company Amplify Snack Brands. The £300m deal enables Amplify to accelerate its international expansion plans.

Specialised Cleaning Services acquires Extra Clean Property Services

Wed, 17/08/2016 Extra Clean Property Services (ECPS) has been taken over by Specialised Cleaning Services. ECPS is a provider of a range of exterior cleaning works including pressure washing, window cleaning, gutter cleaning and graffiti removal.

198 companies named & shamed for not paying minimum wage

Thu, 11/08/2016 Two English football clubs are among the 198 businesses named and shamed for not paying workers the legal minimum wage. Between them, the 198 companies owed their employees £466,219 in arrears, all of which has now been paid. Since the scheme was introduced in October 2013, 688 employers have been named and shamed, with total arrears of more than £3.5m. The full list of 198 companies has been posted on the website of the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

NorthEdge Capital backs MBO of Abbey Logistics

Wed, 10/08/2016 The private equity firm NorthEdge Capital has backed the management buyout of Abbey Logistics. Established in 1990, Abbey specialises in the transportation of liquid food ingredients.

AYS Logistics joins Carousel

Wed, 10/08/2016 Carousel Logistics, a provider of personalised logistics services, has moved to strengthen its position in the agriculture, renewables and medical device sectors with the acquisition of AYS Logistics. The deal sees AYS renamed to Carousel with immediate effect.

Chinese investment group takes over West Bromwich Albion

Wed, 10/08/2016 West Bromwich Albion Football Club has been taken over by an investment group led by Chinese entrepreneur Guochuan Lai, who says he has “no intention of changing the club’s ethos”. WBA finished 14th in the 2015-16 Premier League season under Tony Pulis. The deal is the third takeover of an English football club by Chinese investors in 2016.

Marston Holdings acquires Engage Services

Wed, 10/08/2016 Marston Holdings has expanded the range of services it offers with the acquisition of Engage Services, a company which specialises in non-court order based field collections.

Siemens buys Materials Solutions

Tue, 09/08/2016 The 3D printing company Materials Solutions has been taken over by Siemens, which is keen to drive forward with the industrialisation and commercialisation of 3D printing technology.

NVM sells Arleigh International to LKQ Corporation

Tue, 09/08/2016 Arleigh International has been sold by NVM Private Equity to the American company LKQ Corporation. Arleigh supplies spare parts and accessories to the UK caravan holiday home market. LKQ specialises in providing of alternative and speciality parts to repair and accessorise automobiles and other vehicles.

NorthEdge Capital backs MBO of Belfield Furnishings

Tue, 09/08/2016 The private equity firm NorthEdge Capital has backed the management buyout of Belfield Furnishings. Established in 2002, Belfield is a white label manufacturer of home furnishings which specialises in the wholesale and distribution of products, including upholstered furniture, soft furnishings, mattresses and curtains, across Europe.

SCS acquires Pyramid

Tue, 09/08/2016 The software developer Pyramid has been acquired by Specialist Computer Services. The deal enables SCS to offer a greater range of HR payroll products.

Pinewood Studios sold to Venus Grafton for £323m

Tue, 09/08/2016 Peel Group has reached an agreement to sell Pinewood Studios to the real estate fund Venus Grafton for £323m. Pinewood Studios is a provider of studio and related services to the worldwide film and television industries.

Outsourcing Inc acquires Liberata from Endless

Mon, 08/08/2016 The business process outsourcing provider Liberata has been sold by Endless to the Japanese company Outsourcing Inc, in a deal which values it at £43m.

Cleanall Services and Care Facility Management to form Aston Services Group

Mon, 08/08/2016 Cleanall Services and Care Facility Management have agreed to merge and form a new company called Aston Services Group. From the end of 2016 the group will trade using the Aston Cleaning, Aston Security, Aston Hygiene and Aston Maintenance brands.

UK government approves £344m expansion programme at London City Airport

Wed, 27/07/2016 The UK government has given the go ahead for a £344m expansion programme at London City Airport. 1,600 airport jobs will be created as the airport receives an extended terminal, a new aircraft taxiway and parking spaces for planes. It is estimated that these plans will add £1.5bn to the UK economy by 2025, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, saying that the plans will “boost international connections, strengthening the City of London’s links to destinations across the world, and send a clear signal that Britain is open for business”.

Elior acquires Waterfall Catering Solutions

Wed, 27/07/2016 Waterfall Catering Group has been bought by Elior. Waterfall is a contract caterer which specialises in the education, care and welfare markets. It operates through two brands Caterplus (a care specialist) and Taylor Shaw (an education specialist).

Restore to acquire data solutions division from PHS Group

Wed, 27/07/2016 PHS Group has agreed to sell its data solutions division to Restore for £83.1m. This division, the second largest provider of document shredding services in the UK, consists of PHS DataShred, PHS Records Management and Capital Capture.

GlaxoSmithKline announces fresh UK investment

Wed, 27/07/2016 GlaxoSmithKline has announced it is to invest £275m at three of its manufacturing sites in the UK as it looks to increase production and boost exports from the UK. The money will be used to build a new aseptic sterile facility in Barnard Castle, construct a facility for the manufacture of respiratory active ingredients in Montrose, and add new manufacturing capacity to the site in Ware where the Ellipta respiratory inhaler is built. GlaxoSmithKline says it continues to view the UK as an “attractive location for investment” due to the country’s highly skilled workforce, well developed infrastructure, competitive corporate tax rates and the Patent Box, a tax incentive for companies involved in research and development and related manufacturing.

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC reveals new owner Fosun

Mon, 25/07/2016 Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club has been taken over by the Chinese investment group Fosun. The new club representative Mr Jeff Shi says the new owner is aiming to “take Wolves back to the Premier League as soon as possible and to stay there”.

Mastercard seals £869m deal for VocaLink

Mon, 25/07/2016 VocaLink has been acquired by Mastercard, in a deal which could be worth up to £869m. VocaLink is a technology company which operates some of the UK’s key payments infrastructure, including BACS (enabling direct credit and direct debit payments between bank accounts), Faster Payments (real-time account-to-account service enabling payments via mobile, internet and telephone) and LINK (the UK’s ATM network). The acquisition improves Mastercard’s position in the electronic payments sector.

Polestar Applied Solutions bought by Adare

Mon, 25/07/2016 The business-critical mailing services company Polestar Applied Solutions has been bought by Adare Group. The deal will see Polestar become part of Adare’s secure and essential communications division.

BGC Partners acquires Sunrise Brokers Group

Mon, 25/07/2016 The global brokerage company BGC Partners has acquired Sunrise Brokers Group. Established in 1991, Sunrise offers broking services covering equity, credit, FX, hybrid and commodity derivative asset classes.

CH&Co Group merges with The Brookwood Partnership and ABsolutely Catering

Mon, 25/07/2016 CH&Co Group has added two specialist education brands to its portfolio following its merger with The Brookwood Partnership and ABsolutely Catering. Brookwood provides a fresh food service to nearly 170 schools across the UK. It operates in the publicly funded schools sector under the ABsolutely Catering brand.

Dunne Group collapses with loss of 524 jobs

Wed, 20/07/2016 The construction firm Dunne Group has gone into administration with the loss of more than 500 jobs. The company’s head office was in Bathgate in West Lothian. Dunne Group had been trading since 2001 and had a turnover of £74m in the last financial year. The 524 redundancies were in Scotland, London and Leeds.

Lowcosttravelgroup ceases trading

Mon, 18/07/2016 The travel agent Lowcosttravelgroup has ceased trading and made its 450 staff redundant. The company blamed ‘the recent and ongoing turbulent financial environment’ for its demise.

Evolution bought by Baldwins Accountancy Group

Mon, 18/07/2016 Baldwins Accountancy Group has expanded with the announcement that it has bought Evolution. Based in Newcastle and Wynyard, Evolution is a firm of chartered accountants and business advisers.

UK tech giant ARM Holdings bought by Japanese company Softbank for £24bn

Mon, 18/07/2016 ARM Holdings, one of the UK’s leading technology companies, has been taken over by the Japanese company Softbank for £24.3bn. ARM’s intellectual property designs are used in 95% of all smartphones produced worldwide. Softbank intends to invest to maintain ARM’s position as an industry leader, keep its headquarters in the UK, and promises to double the number of UK employees over the next five years. Matt Hancock, the UK’s new Minister of State for Digital & Culture, says the takeover “highlights Britain's capability to grow & build world-beating Tech companies”.

New Business Secretary appointed

Thu, 14/07/2016 Theresa May has appointed Greg Clark as the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Lubrizol buys Diamond Dispersions

Thu, 14/07/2016 Diamond Dispersions has been acquired by the American company Lubrizol. Diamond manufactures water-based dye and pigment dispersions for inks used in digital printing. It is to be integrated into Lubrizol Advanced Materials.

Panasonic Europe buys Alan Dick Communications

Wed, 13/07/2016 Alan Dick Communications has been bought by Panasonic Europe. The deal enables Panasonic to move into the fast growing rail market, which covers mainline rail, London Underground and other light metro infrastructure. Alan Dick Communications, which specialises in technology integration, will trade as ADComms.

Kite Packaging wraps up acquisition of Phoenix Box

Wed, 13/07/2016 Phoenix Box has been acquired by Kite Packaging. Phoenix Box specialises in corrugated cases and other packaging consumables.

Scientific Laboratory Solutions merges with Dominique Dutscher

Wed, 13/07/2016 Scientific Laboratory Supplies (SLS) has merged with the French company Dominique Dutscher. The deal creates the largest independent European distributor of laboratory supplies. In a separate move, SLS has bought the Northern Ireland-based laboratory supplier Analab.

Southerns Group buys Broadstock

Tue, 12/07/2016 Broadstock, a designer, manufacturer, supplier and installer of workplace, educational and catering furniture, has been taken over by Southerns Group. takes over NetCentrix

Tue, 12/07/2016 The cloud computing company NetCentrix has been acquired by The deal, which includes NetCentrix’s subsidiary SystemHOST, enables Elite to expand its Managed IT and Cloud division.

Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group sold to AMC Theatres for £921m

Tue, 12/07/2016 The private equity firm Terra Firma has sold Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group to the American company AMC Theatres. The £921m deal makes AMC the world’s largest cinema operator. AMC expects attendances at Odeon cinemas to increase as it introduces new customer experience strategies, including recliner seating, enhanced food and drink offerings and premium large format auditoriums.

Boeing to create 2,000 jobs in UK as Government signs £4.7bn contract for new aircraft

Tue, 12/07/2016 In one of his final acts as Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced a new strategic partnership between Boeing and the UK, as well as around £400m for new aerospace research and development projects. The partnership will see Boeing create 2,000 new jobs in the UK and make the country its European base for training, maintenance, repair and overhaul across its defence fixed-wing and rotary platforms. Boeing will also make the UK a base for defence exports to Europe and the Middle East. In return the UK is to purchase nine new Boeing P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (P-8A) as well as 50 new Apache helicopters at a cost of £4.7bn. The P-8A surveillance aircraft will fill a gap in the UK defences left by the scrapping of the British-built Nimrod.

Indutrade acquires Vacuum Engineering Services

Tue, 12/07/2016 Vacuum Engineering Services has been bought by the Swedish company Indutrade. Vacuum manufactures leak detection equipment for the automotive industry, with 80% of its sales being exported.

Jaywing buys Australian search agency Digital Massive

Tue, 12/07/2016 The advertising agency Jaywing is to strengthen its international operations in Australia with the acquisition of the search agency Digital Massive.

Pharmacy2U and Chemist Direct agree merger

Tue, 12/07/2016 Pharmacy2U has merged with in a deal backed by £10m of investment from the Business Growth Fund. Established in 1999, Pharmacy2U is a dedicated online pharmacy that also provides a private online doctor service.

Endless completes deal for O&H Vehicle Conversions group

Mon, 11/07/2016 The private equity firm Endless has bought O&H Vehicle Conversions group. Established in 1988, O&H specialises in converting vehicles to make them suitable for use as patient transport service (PTS) ambulances, front line A&E ambulance vehicles, wheelchair access vehicles (WAV’s) and welfare vehicles.

Caledonia Investments acquires Liberation Group in £118m deal

Mon, 11/07/2016 Liberation Group has been bought by Caledonia Investments for £118m. Liberation owns a number of pubs, bars and restaurants across the Channel Islands. In addition it owns Butcombe Brewery, which manages 19 pubs in Somerset, Bristol, Bath, the Mendips and the Cotswolds. Liberation plans to continue expanding across the south of England through acquisitions of pub groups.

Revolymer seals deal for Itaconix Corporation

Mon, 11/07/2016 The American specialty polymer company Itaconix Corporation has been taken over by Revolymer in deal which could be worth up to £10m. Revolymer believes the deal will enable it to move into more profitable industry sectors.

Oriium acquires add3

Mon, 11/07/2016 The IT services company Oriium has acquired the cloud migration company add3.

News UK buys talkSPORT for £220m

Mon, 11/07/2016 talkSPORT owner Wireless Group has been taken over by News Corp’s UK subsidiary. The £220m deal is part of News Corp’s diversification strategy, which has seen it buy Storyful in Ireland and Unruly in the UK in recent years. talkSPORT is the UK’s only national commercial radio station dedicated to sport, and holds broadcasting rights for the Premier League, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup.

Servoca takes over Classic Education

Mon, 11/07/2016 Classic Education has been taken over by Servoca in deal which could be worth up to £3.1m. Classic Education specialises in providing education recruitment services.

Sainsbury's to close its 16 Netto stores

Tue, 05/07/2016 Sainsbury’s is to close its 16 Netto stores and end its two year joint venture with the Danish retail firm Dansk Supermarked Group. In 2014 the companies relaunched Netto in the UK to compete with the growing Aldi and Lidl discount supermarket chains. Sainsbury’s says that in order to succeed, Netto would have had to grow at pace and scale, requiring significant investment and the rapid expansion of the store estate in a challenging property market. Sainsbury’s is to write off its £20m investment in Netto and expects further costs of £10m to wind the business down.

Future plc announces takeover of Imagine Publishing

Tue, 05/07/2016 The consumer magazine publisher Future has bought Imagine Publishing. Future’s best known titles include Techradar, Edge and Total Film. The acquisition improves Future’s position in the bookazine sector, where Imagine is considered a market leader with a portfolio of 300 titles.

Addison Lee buys Tristar Worldwide

Mon, 04/07/2016 Tristar Worldwide has been acquired by the premium car service operator Addison Lee. Tristar is a provider of chauffeur transportation services in the USA, Asia, UK and continental Europe.

Capita acquires Trustmarque Solutions for £57m

Mon, 04/07/2016 Ardbid has sold Trustmarque Solutions to Capita for £57m. Trustmarque specialises in the IT investment process and provides software resale, licensing and technology services to companies and organisations in the private and public sectors. Trustmarque has previously worked with Capita as an embedded software fulfilment partner within Capita Technology Solutions.

Clock Creative and Marketecture agree merger

Fri, 01/07/2016 The B2B marketing agencies Clock Creative and Marketecture are to merge. The newly combined agency will specialise in brand strategy and development, creative, content, and digital marketing.

Utilities company Glide acquired by CableCom Networking

Fri, 01/07/2016 CableCom Networking, a provider of broadband, TV and telephony services for the student and landlord sector, has bought the utilities company Glide.

UK M&A Activity April to June 2016

'Significant' redundancies as My Local goes into administration

Thu, 30/06/2016 The convenience store chain My Local has gone into administration. My Local employed 1,658 people and operated 125 shops across the UK. Two of the shops have been sold and 90 have closed with a 'significant' number of redundancies. The administrators say they are in discussions with a number of interested parties in relation to the 32 premises that are still trading and a small number of those that have closed.

R G Bassett & Sons bought by S J Bargh Group

Wed, 22/06/2016 The logistics company S J Bargh Group has bought R G Bassett & Sons. The acquisition improves S J Bargh’s general haulage and warehousing operations.

Neon Play acquired by Hachette

Wed, 22/06/2016 Neon Play, a developer of mobile games such as Traffic Panic London and Paper Glider vs Gnomes, has been taken over by the book publisher Hachette.

Daily Internet acquires System Professional

Wed, 22/06/2016 Daily Internet has improved its managed services offering with the acquisition of System Professional for £3.9m. Daily Internet is a cloud-based hosting company. System Professional is a managed services provider and consultancy.

Tesco sells Dobbies Garden Centres for £217m

Wed, 22/06/2016 Tesco has offloaded another subsidiary with the announcement that Dobbies Garden Centres, the UK’s second largest specialist garden centre retailer, is to be sold to a consortium led by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital. Tesco has been streamlining its business structure as it looks to regain ground in the UK supermarket sector, and says that the money generated by this sale, £217m, will be used for “general corporate purposes”.

Microsoft buys LinkedIn for £18bn

Tue, 21/06/2016 LinkedIn, the world’s biggest professional network with 400m members, has been taken over by Microsoft. The £18bn deal, one of the largest ever in the technology sector, is part of Microsoft’s attempts to position itself as an industry leader in cloud computing. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner believes the deal will enable the company to operate on the “same scale” as “tech titans such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook”.

Totally seals £7.7m deal for About Health

Tue, 21/06/2016 About Health has been acquired by Totally for £7.7m. About Health is a provider of community based health services to the NHS. Totally is a provider of out-of-hospital care, and owns Totally Health, My Clinical Coach and Premier Physical Healthcare.

GCI Network Solutions buys Outsourcery out of administration

Tue, 21/06/2016 Outsourcery, the cloud-based IT infrastructure company founded by ex-Dragons’ Den star Piers Linney, has been bought out of administration by GCI Network Solutions.

Current Capital and Safanad complete buyout of Rimstock

Tue, 21/06/2016 Rimstock, a manufacturer and supplier of forged and cast aluminium wheels, has been taken over by the investment firms Safanad and Current Capital. Rimstock’s products are used in a wide range motor racing series, including touring cars, sports cars, rallying and rally cross.

CorpAcq takes over rugby union club Sale Sharks

Tue, 21/06/2016 CorpAcq, an investment company led by businessman Simon Orange, has bought the rugby union club Sale Sharks. CorpAcq intends to develop Manchester as a Premiership rugby region, and ultimately win the Premiership with Sale Sharks.

Tesco sells Giraffe restaurants to Boparan Ventures

Fri, 17/06/2016 The Giraffe chain of family friendly restaurants has been sold by Tesco to Boparan Ventures, owner of the Harry Ramsdens fish and chips chain. Giraffe operates 54 standalone restaurants and three restaurants within Tesco stores. Tesco is attempting to ensure long term stability and does not believe the casual dining sector forms part of these plans.

Pulsant announces takeover of Onyx

Fri, 17/06/2016 Livingbridge-backed IT infrastructure services firm Onyx has been taken over by Pulsant, a provider of cloud computing, managed hosting and colocation services. Onyx manages five datacentres in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sheffield and Newcastle. The deal means Pulsant is able to offer a greater range of products, particularly in areas relating to applications management, remote and on-site managed services, workplace recovery and security.

Colliers Group acquired by Jardine Motors Group

Fri, 17/06/2016 Motor car dealer Colliers Group has been acquired by Jardine Motors Group. The deal means Jardine gains a further six Jaguar operations in the UK, increases its Honda presence by 25%, and adds its first Mazda franchise.

Pubs business New World Trading Company sold to Graphite Capital for £50m

Fri, 10/06/2016 The private equity company Graphite Capital has bought New World Trading Company (NWTC) for £50m. Established in 2011, NWTC manages 14 pubs and restaurants under the Smugglers Cove, The Botanist, The Oast House, The Trading House and The Club House brands. It is planning to open at three further sites in Sheffield, York and Reading.

Hendy Automotive acquires Lifestyle Motor Group

Fri, 10/06/2016 The car dealership Hendy Automotive has acquired Lifestyle Motor Group, increasing its presence in South East England.

Investcorp sells GL Education Group to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners

Fri, 10/06/2016 Investcorp has sold GL Education Group to the private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. The group consists of GL Assessment, a provider of assessments for children's education, health and wellbeing and GL Performance, a provider of development planning for schools.

Belvoir acquires the UK's largest remaining independent lettings franchise

Fri, 10/06/2016 Belvoir has added 86 offices to its property lettings network with the acquisition of Northwood, the UK’s largest remaining independent lettings franchise. Belvoir has the largest property franchise in the UK with more than 54,000 managed properties.

Integral UK bought by American company JLL

Fri, 10/06/2016 Integral UK Ltd, a provider of complex mechanical and electrical property maintenance, has been taken over by the American company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). The deal means JLL is a market leader in providing mobile engineering services.

Berwin Group bought by Swedish company HEXPOL

Fri, 10/06/2016 The Swedish company HEXPOL has bought the rubber compounder Berwin Group for £25m. Berwin Group consists of three companies: Berwin Rubber Co Ltd, Berwin Industrial Polymers Ltd and Flexi-Cell (UK) Ltd. It employs around 200 people across two manufacturing sites in Manchester and Gloucestershire.

Jaguar Holding Company Luxembourg Buys Synexus

Fri, 10/06/2016 The private equity firm LDC has sold Synexus to Jaguar Holding Company Luxembourg SARL for £178m. Synexus Clinical Research is a multinational company specialising in the recruitment and management of patients in later stage clinical trials at its own specialist centres across the globe.

Swansea City FC taken over by American investors

Fri, 10/06/2016 A consortium led by the American businessmen Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan (owners of MLS side DC United and NBA team Memphis Grizzlies respectively) has bought Swansea City Football Club. The Swansea City Supporters' Trust will keep its 21% shareholding.

Vertu adds Toyota to portfolio with buyout of Gordon Lamb

Thu, 09/06/2016 The car retailer Vertu has added Toyota to its franchise portfolio with the acquisition of Gordon Lamb Group. The £18.7m deal includes five outlets in Derbyshire.

Creasefield acquired by Solid State plc

Thu, 09/06/2016 Solid State plc has bought the custom battery pack manufacturer Creasefield. Solid State is a supplier of industrial and rugged computers, and the acquisition will enable it to offer a greater range of products.

NYX Gaming Group buys Betdigital for £24.5m

Thu, 09/06/2016 The American company NYX Gaming Group, a content and technology supplier to lotteries, casinos and gaming operators, has acquired Betdigital for £24.5m. Established in 2011, Betdigital develops content and systems for online, mobile, interactive TV and land-based gaming platforms. It has developed games such as Shamrock Surprise, Turbo Fruits and Big Money Bingo.

Imperial Holdings takes over Palletways from Phoenix Equity Partners

Thu, 09/06/2016 Phoenix Equity Partners has sold Palletways to the South African company Imperial Holdings for £163m. Palletways is Europe’s largest provider of express palletised distribution services.

Tech Mahindra seals £112m deal for Target Group

Thu, 09/06/2016 Target Group, a provider of outsourcing and software services which specialises in the financial services sector, has been taken over by the Indian company Tech Mahindra. The £112m deal enables Tech Mahindra to expand its position in the fast growing fintech sector.

Yildiz creates new global confectionery business with London HQ

Thu, 09/06/2016 Yildiz Holding, the Turkish owner of the McVitie’s biscuits brand, has formed a new global company to house its biscuit, chocolate, and confectionery businesses. Known as Pladis, the new entity brings together Godiva Chocolatier, United Biscuits, Ulker and DeMet’s Candy Company in an operation generating £3.6bn a year and employing 26,000 people with 36 factories in 13 countries. Named after the Pleiades constellation, a group of seven stars visible from anywhere on Earth, the company will operate on a regional basis, with each region responsible for the manufacturing and commercial activities

Phoenix Group to acquire AXA Sunlife for £375m

Thu, 09/06/2016AXA has agreed to sell its UK investment, pensions and direct protection (known as AXA SunLife) businesses to Phoenix Group Holdings for £375m.

Linder Myers taken over by Metamorph Law

Thu, 09/06/2016 The business and entire staff of Linder Myers has become part of Metamorph Law Limited via a pre-pack administration. Metamorph Law is a newly created company which acquires, transforms and aggregates existing high street law firms. It plans to buy up to 60 law firms over the next five years. Linder Myers was established in 1922 and has offices in Manchester, Shropshire, Lancashire and Cheshire.

Pinnacle Technology Group buys adept4

Thu, 09/06/2016 adept4, a provider of cloud based IT services, has been bought by Pinnacle Technology Group. The deal, worth up to £7m, is one of a series made by Pinnacle as it looks to focus on the SME business sector in the UK.

Bradford City FC bought by two German investors

Tue, 07/06/2016 Bradford City Football Club has been sold to two German investors, Stefan Rupp and Edin Rahic. Mr Rahic will take on the role of chief executive and relocate to the UK. The announcement comes days after the club lost to Millwall in the League One Play Off Semi Finals.

CBPE Capital buys holiday home manufacturer ABI

Tue, 07/06/2016ABI, one of the UK’s leading caravan holiday home manufacturers, has been bought by the private equity firm CBPE Capital.

LDC backs Giacom's management buyout

Tue, 07/06/2016The private equity firm LDC has backed the management buyout of Giacom World Networks. Established in 1999, Giacom is a provider of cloud IT and communications services to IT consultants, service providers and resellers.

Hikvision to increase share of security market by acquiring Pyronix

Tue, 07/06/2016 The intrusion alarm systems specialist Pyronix has been acquired by the world’s largest video surveillance manufacturer, the Chinese company Hikvision.

Fircroft acquires One Key Resources

Tue, 07/06/2016 The recruitment company Fircroft has increased the range of services it offers to the mining, minerals and natural resources sectors with the acquisition of One Key Resources.

EuroMed taken over by Scapa Group

Fri, 03/06/2016 The American company EuroMed, a manufacturer of wound care products, has been taken over by Scapa Group in a deal worth up to £29m. Scapa manufactures specialist adhesive tapes for the medical, transportation, electronics and industrial markets.

Halfords buys Wheelies Direct and Tredz to move up a gear online

Fri, 03/06/2016 The car and cycle parts retailer Halfords has expanded its involvement in the online sector with the acquisition of Tredz and Wheelies Direct for £18.4m. Tredz is an online retailer of premium bikes and cycling parts, accessories and clothing, and Wheelies Direct specialises in bicycle replacement for insurance companies.

Delta Print and Packaging bought by Finnish company Huhtamaki

Fri, 03/06/2016 The Finnish food packaging company Huhtamaki has improved the range of paperboard packaging services it offers its clients with the acquisition of Delta Print and Packaging. Headquartered in Northern Ireland, Delta is a folding carton packaging manufacturer for the UK and European foodservice, packaged food and retail sectors.

Uber receives $3.5bn Saudi investment

Fri, 03/06/2016 Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has invested $3.5bn in the cab hire app Uber. The investment gives the Saudi Public Investment Fund ownership of 5% of the company, which is now valued at more than $60bn.

Review Travel acquires Executive Status

Fri, 03/06/2016 The bespoke business travel company Review Travel has strengthened its position in the conference and event travel sector with the acquisition of Executive Status.

Pegasus Public Relations acquired by UDG Healthcare

Fri, 03/06/2016 UDG Healthcare has acquired the healthcare communications business Pegasus Public Relations, in a deal which could be worth nearly £17m. UDG already owns Ashfield Healthcare Communications and believes the two businesses will complement each other.

Augean takes over Colt Industrial Services from the Telford family

Thu, 02/06/2016 The waste management services provider Augean has acquired Colt Industrial Services Limited from the Telford family. Colt provides services such as Specialist tank cleaning and high pressure jetting, hydro abrasive cutting, asbestos removal and waste management and tanker haulage.

Randy Lerner sells Aston Villa to Chinese company Recon Group

Thu, 02/06/2016 American businessman Randy Lerner has sold Aston Villa FC to Recon Group, a Chinese company owned by Dr Tony Jiantong Xia. Mr Lerner bought the club in 2006, and with Martin O’Neill as manager came close to securing Champions League qualification. However the club has struggled in recent seasons, with relegation from the Premier League being confirmed in April 2016. New owner Dr Xia says he is an Aston Villa fan and his ‘immediate objective’ is promotion back to the Premier League followed by a top 6 finish.

Ingram Micro buys Comms-care

Thu, 02/06/2016 Comms-care has been bought by the technology distribution company Ingram Micro. Comms-care is a provider of IT support services.

All BHS stores to close

Thu, 02/06/2016 The administrators for the department store chain BHS have been unable to find a buyer for the business and it is to be wound down. All 163 of the company's stores will be closed down and it is likely that 11,000 employees will lose their jobs. In 2015 the homewares and clothing retailer that was formerly known as British Home Stores was bought for £1 by its current owners from Sir Philip Green, owner of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Dorothy Perkins. BHS had a £570m pension deficit and had been suffering falling sales for some time.

ARM Holdings acquires Apical for £240m

Thu, 02/06/2016 Microprocessor manufacturer ARM Holdings has acquired the imaging technology company Apical for £240m. Headquartered in London, Apical specialises in technology which it hopes next generation devices will use to understand and interact with their environment. ARM’s processor chips are used in Apple’s iPhone products.

Hill & Smith takes over Hardstaff Barriers

Thu, 02/06/2016 The manufacturing company Hill & Smith has bought Hardstaff Barriers for £11m. Hardstaff is a provider of temporary and permanent pre-cast concrete barriers for the site and vehicle protection industry.

Adare Group secures Banner Managed Communication in major deal

Thu, 02/06/2016 An industry leading marketing communications company generating a turnover of £230m has been formed following the acquisition of Banner Managed Communication (BMC) by Adare Group. Both Adare and BMC are backed by the private equity firm Endless LLP.

Centrica seals £145m deal for ENER-G Cogen

Thu, 02/06/2016 ENER-G has sold its Cogen International division to Centrica for £145m. Cogen, a supplier and operator of combined heat and power products, will be integrated into Centrica’s new international distributed energy & power business.

Pinnacle Technology Group sells Pinnacle CDT to Chess

Thu, 02/06/2016 Pinnacle Technology Group has sold Pinnacle CDT to Chess. Pinnacle CDT is a provider of data, telecommunication and IT support services.

Austin Reed to close with loss of 1,000 jobs

Tue, 31/05/2016 Administrators have failed to find a buyer for the 116-year-old tailoring and clothing business Austin Reed, which will close down at the end of June with the loss of 1,000 jobs.

CUK Clothing and Courtaulds collapse

Fri, 27/05/2016 The clothing manufacturers CUK Clothing and Courtaulds Brands have gone into administration and 350 of 380 employees have been made redundant. The companies merged in 2006 and manufacture and supply Pretty Polly tights as well as private label socks, bras, underwear, nightwear, formal and casual wear, jackets and coats. The administration of BHS, a major customer, and recent declining sales and profitability are blamed for the failure of the companies.

Lord Sugar appointed enterprise tsar

Thu, 26/05/2016 The Government has appointed Lord Sugar as enterprise tsar as part of its drive to get more young people to consider starting their own business or undertaking an apprenticeship. As well as championing enterprise and apprenticeships among young people, the founder of Amstrad and star of the TV show The Apprentice will encourage businesses to take on apprentices. The Government hopes to have three million people starting apprenticeships in England by 2020.

Steljes goes into administration

Tue, 24/05/2016 The technology products distributor Steljes has gone into administration. The 29-year-old company distributes visual communication technology such as projectors, digital signage and interactive displays and has an annual turnover of around £55m. The administrators are looking for a buyer for the business.

Reiss valued at £230m as Warburg Pincus buys majority stake

Wed, 18/05/2016 The American private equity firm Warburg Pincus has acquired a majority stake in Reiss, in a deal which values the fashion retailer at £230m. Warburg Pincus will aim to help Reiss expand further internationally, in particular in the North American, Asian and Australian markets.

Bluefin Insurance takes over Exchange Insurance Services

Wed, 18/05/2016 The commercial insurance broker Exchange Insurance Services has been acquired by Bluefin Insurance.

TeleData to buy 1st Easy Ltd

Wed, 18/05/2016 TeleData, a provider of data centre and colocation services, has increased its infrastructure hosting portfolio with the announcement that it is buying 1st Easy Ltd. Headquartered in Cheshire, 1st Easy was established in 1999 and is a provider of VMWare based public cloud services and data centre infrastructure services.

K3 Business Technology Group buys Danish company DdD Retail

Wed, 18/05/2016 The computer software provider K3 Business Technology Group has acquired the Danish point of sale software/hardware provider DdD Retail for £7.9m.

DBK Partners acquired by RPS Group

Wed, 18/05/2016 DBK Partners, a property and construction consultancy, has been acquired by RPS Group. Headquartered in Oxfordshire, RPS is a business consultancy which specialises in land and property development, energy production, environmental management, and health and safety.

Innovia sells Cellophane to concentrate on bank note business

Wed, 18/05/2016 The flexible plastic films manufacturer Cellophane has been sold by Innovia to the Japanese company Futamura Chemicals. Headquartered in Nagoya, Futamura is a manufacturer of plastic and cellulose films for the food packaging industry. The sale enables Innovia to focus on its polymer bank note business, which is going to be responsible for manufacturing the new polymer banknote substrate for the Bank of England, which will be seen in the new £5 and £10 notes which are to be issued over the next year.

Rethink Group acquires Digital Gurus

Fri, 13/05/2016 Rethink Group, a provider of recruitment and talent management services, has bought Digital Gurus.

John Blake Publishing taken over by Bonnier

Fri, 13/05/2016 John Blake Publishing has been acquired by Bonnier Publishing. John Blake was initially known for its work in the true crime and ‘hard men’ sectors, with titles including Lenny McLean’s The Guv’nor and Roy Shaw’s memoir Pretty Boy. More recently it has published a range of autobiographies from celebrities such as Katie Price and Geordie Shore’s Holly Hagan.

Jackson Canter Group buys Lees Solicitors

Fri, 13/05/2016 Jackson Canter Group has doubled in size following the acquisition of Lees Solicitors. Jackson Canter specialises in areas such as immigration, actions against the police, employment and family law. Lees was established in 1889 and provides a range of personal and commercial legal services.

People Force International takes over UK Staffing Ltd

Fri, 13/05/2016The HR, recruitment & immigration consultancy People Force International has acquired UK Staffing Ltd. The deal is People Force’s first move into the temporary staffing sector of the recruitment industry.

L&Q, The Hyde Group and East Thames consider merger

Fri, 13/05/2016 One of the country’s top four largest house builders is to be created following the announcement that L&Q, The Hyde Group and East Thames are in negotiations to merge. The deal would create a company capable of building 100,000 new homes across London and the South East.

Altium and GCA Savvian prepare merger

Fri, 13/05/2016 The financial advisory group Altium is to merge with GCA Savvian. The newly combined company will trade as GCA Altium in Europe and GCA in the United States and Asia. GCA will be one of the world’s leading M&A advisers in the technology and eCommerce sectors.

American company Galil Medical bought by BTG

Fri, 13/05/2016 The pharmaceutical company BTG has acquired the American company Galil Medical for £58.3m. Headquartered in Minnesota, Galil Medical is a manufacturer of products used in the treatment and palliative care of kidney and other cancers.

European Commission blocks O2 takeover

Wed, 11/05/2016 The European Commission has blocked Hutchison's £10bn takeover of O2. The Commission believed the proposed takeover would have negative consequences, with UK consumers paying higher prices due to less competition, a slowdown in development of the UK’s mobile network infrastructure, and a reduction in the number of mobile network operators willing to host virtual operators. EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the takeover would have ‘hampered innovation and the development of network infrastructure in the UK’. In reply Hutchison, a conglomerate headquartered in Hong Kong, said that it was ‘deeply disappointed’ and was considering a legal challenge to the decision.

Avanquest Software bought by American company Maximum Games

Mon, 09/05/2016 Avanquest Software, publisher of the Jewell Quest series of videogames, has been taken over by the American company Maximum Games.

Standard Life acquires Elevate from AXA

Mon, 09/05/2016 Standard Life has created one of the UK's largest adviser platform businesses with the acquisition of Elevate. Previously owned by AXA, Elevate provides services which help over 1,500 financial advice and wealth management firms to manage SIPPs, ISAs and other investments.

Acquisition of Orion Media boosts Bauer Media's reach on the radio

Mon, 09/05/2016 Orion Media, owner of the Free Radio and Gem radio brands, has been acquired by Bauer Media. The deal increases the total reach of Bauer‘s national and regional radio brands to 17.4 million listeners.

Target eSolutions to become Servelec Abacus following takeover

Mon, 09/05/2016 Target eSolutions Holdings, which trades as Abacus eSolutions, has been taken over by Servelec. Following completion of the deal, Target eSolutions will be known as Servelec Abacus.

Portmeirion seals £17.5m deal for owner of Wax Lyrical

Mon, 09/05/2016 Portmeirion has paid £17.5m to acquire Lighthouse Holdings. Lighthouse Holdings owns Wax Lyrical, the UK’s largest manufacturer of home fragrances. Portmeirion specialises in tableware, cookware, giftware and tabletop accessories and owns the Portmeirion, Spode, Royal Worcester and Pimpernel brands.

Pets at Home buys Dick White Referrals and Eye-Vet Referrals

Mon, 09/05/2016 Pets at Home has increased the range of veterinary services it offers with the acquisition of two veterinary specialist referral centres: Dick White Referrals and Eye-Vet Referrals. Pets at Home runs 420 superstores across the UK, and 388 practices under the Vets4Pets and Companion Care brand names.

Johnson Service Group acquires Portgrade

Mon, 09/05/2016 Johnson Service Group has acquired Portgrade, a supplier of high volume hotel linen which trades as Afonwen, for £52.6m.

Nisbets secures controlling stake in Space Catering UK

Fri, 06/05/2016 The catering supplies company Nisbets has acquired a controlling stake in Space Catering UK. Established in 2000, Space Catering provides a range of design and supply services to the UK foodservice industry.

LG Harris acquired by Norwegian company Orkla

Fri, 06/05/2016 The Norwegian company Orkla has acquired the painting equipment manufacturer LG Harris. Established in 1928, LG Harris has two factories, in Bromsgrove and China respectively. Its brands include Harris, Lynwood, Harris Victory and T-Class.

End of The New Day

Thu, 05/05/2016 Trinity Mirror is to close its recently launched national newspaper The New Day on 6 May. The newspaper is believed to have a circulation of around 40,000, well below Trinity Mirror’s target of 200,000.

Elizabeth Shaw taken over by Polish confectioner Colian

Thu, 05/05/2016 Elizabeth Shaw, the food company best known for its dark mint chocolates, has been taken over by the Polish company Colian.

BBS Building Control and Approved Design Consultancy join Stroma Group

Wed, 04/05/2016 Stroma Group has announced two acquisitions, with BBS Building Control and Approved Design Consultancy joining the building consultancy group.

Conviviality buys Bibendum PLB for £60m

Wed, 04/05/2016 Bibendum PLB has been taken over by Conviviality for £60m. The deal increases Conviviality group revenue by 23%. Bibendum PLB is one of the largest wine, spirit and beer distributors and wholesalers to the on-trade and off-trade markets in the UK.

Gateley secures deal for tax specialist Capitus

Wed, 04/05/2016 The commercial law firm Gateley has acquired Capitus. Established in 1997, Capitus is a specialist tax incentives advisory business.

VP plc buys TR Pty for £9.5m

Wed, 04/05/2016 VP plc has improved its international presence with the £9.5m acquisition of the Australian company TR Pty.

Petards acquires QRO Solutions

Wed, 04/05/2016 The advanced security and surveillance systems company Petards has acquired QRO Solutions. Established in the early 2000s, QRO specialises in automatic number plate recognition technology.

IRIS forms HGM division with new acquisition Octopus HR

Wed, 04/05/2016 The business software specialist IRIS has formed a new human capital management (HGM) division following the acquisition of technology company Octopus HR. The HGM division consists of Cascade HR, IRIS payroll, Earnie, KashFlow and the newly purchased Octopus HR.

ScottishPower fined £18m for poor customer service

Wed, 27/04/2016 ScottishPower has been fined £18m following an Ofgem investigation into the utility provider’s complaint resolution, call handling and billing processes. Up to £15m of the money will be paid to vulnerable ScottishPower customers who were affected by customer service issues and the remainder to charity. Ofgem found that ScottishPower didn’t do enough to protect its customers from issues that arose from the implementation of a new IT system, resulting in a significant increase in the number of complaints it received, some of which were handled poorly with a significant number taking too long to resolve. ScottishPower’s failures also resulted in over 300,000 customers receiving late final bills.

Austin Reed in administration

Tue, 26/04/2016 Austin Reed has become the second long-established British retailer to go into administration in two days. The 116-year-old clothing and tailoring business employs 1,000 people and operates 155 shops.

BHS goes into administration

Mon, 25/04/2016 The retailer BHS has gone into administration. The company employs more than 10,000 people and operates 164 shops. Last year the homewares and clothing retailer that was formerly known as British Home Stores was bought for £1 by its current owners from Sir Philip Green, owner of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Dorothy Perkins. BHS has a £570m pension deficit and has been suffering falling sales for some time. In a bid to keep afloat, the retailer has recently negotiated rent cuts with its landlords and sold off assets. The administrators plan to keep the business trading as usual and search for a buyer.

Zoopla agrees £75m deal for Property Software with LDC

Mon, 25/04/2016 Zoopla Property Group has agreed to buy Property Software from LDC for £75m. Property Software is a provider of specialist software services, and the deal enables Zoopla to offer a comprehensive range of services to property professionals.

Baldwins Accountants confirms buyout of rival firm

Thu, 21/04/2016 Rowlands Accountants has been acquired by Baldwins Accountants.

LDC completes £17m acquisition of Panther Logisitcs

Wed, 20/04/2016A management buyout has been completed at Panther Logistics. The £17m deal is backed by the private equity firm LDC. Panther specialises in two-man and one-man delivery services for companies such as Dunelm, Silent Night and Bosch Siemens Group.

ABC Teachers taken over by TES Global

Wed, 20/04/2016 The supply teaching agency ABC Teachers has been taken over by the digital education company TES Global.

Marley Eternit completes deal to become one of the UK's largest roofing specialists

Wed, 20/04/2016 The timber roofing provider John Brash & Co has been taken over by Marley Eternit. The deal creates one of the UK’s largest roofing specialists.

Maven confirms £12m buyout of Westfield Medical

Wed, 20/04/2016 The private equity firm Maven has backed the £12m management buyout of the medical products manufacturer Westfield Medical.

Eclectic Bar Group buys Brighton Pier for £18m

Fri, 15/04/2016 Eclectic Bar Group, owner of brands such as Po Na Na and Fez Bar, has agreed to buy the owner of Brighton Pier for £18m.

The Thacker family's Crown Chicken flies the coop

Fri, 15/04/2016 The food producer Cranswick has acquired Crown Chicken from the Thacker family and management for £40m. Crown Chicken breeds, rears and processes fresh chicken for the grocery retail, food service, wholesale and manufacturing sectors.

Options Group and Outcomes First Group merge

Fri, 15/04/2016 The specialist care and education providers Options Group and Outcomes First Group have agreed to merge. The combined business will be responsible for 700 children and young adults.

Maintel Holdings broadens revenue base with acquisition of Azzurri Communications

Wed, 13/04/2016 The telecommunications company Maintel Holdings has moved to broaden its revenue base with the purchase of Azzurri Communications. Established in 2000, Azzurri provides flexible voice, data and mobile communications services for businesses, as well as contact centre and document management services.

LDC sells Original Additions to US firm PDC Brands

Wed, 13/04/2016 The private equity firm LDC has sold Original Additions to the American company PDC Brands. Original Additions owns some of the UK’s best known cosmetic brands, including Eylure, Elegant Touch and Salon System.

IBM buys Optevia

Wed, 13/04/2016 Optevia, a provider of software services to the UK public sector, has been taken over by IBM.

Onefinestay announces new expansion plans

Wed, 13/04/2016 The short-stay house rental service company onefinestay has announced new expansion plans following its £117m acquisition by AccorHotels. onefinestay plans to expand into 40 new cities over the next five years, with company revenue increasing by a factor of ten.

Tilney Bestinvest seals £600m deal for Towry

Tue, 12/04/2016 Tilney Bestinvest has agreed to buy Towry for £600m, in a deal which enables Tilney to offer a full range of financial planning and investment management services. Tilney plans to continue using the Towry, Tilney and Bestinvest brands until a branding review has been completed.

Northern & Shell sells adult TV channels

Tue, 12/04/2016 Northern & Shell, publisher of the Daily Express and Daily Star (and their Sunday editions), has sold Portland Television to its managing director Chris Ratcliff in a deal worth around £1m. Portland operates a range of adult entertainment TV channels in the UK. Mr Ratcliff said that ‘I liked the channels so much, I bought the company’. The deal means Northern & Shell no longer operates in the adult entertainment industry.

SDL Group expands auction division with acquisition of Graham Penny

Tue, 12/04/2016 SDL Group has further expanded its auction house operation with the acquisition of Graham Penny Auctions. The deal is being made through property auction house Bigwood, which was taken over by SDL in 2015. Graham Penny raised more than £72.6 million from 22 auctions across the East Midlands in 2015.

MHA MacIntyre Hudson and Shoesmiths seal merger

Tue, 12/04/2016 The accountancy firms MHA MacIntyre Hudson and Shoesmiths have agreed to merge.

Norcros seals £4.8m deal for Abode Home Products

Tue, 12/04/2016 Abode Home Products has been acquired by Norcros for £4.8m. Abode specialises in kitchen taps, bathroom taps, and kitchen sinks. Norcros is a tiles and showers group which is aiming to reach a revenue of £420m by 2018.

JD Sports takes over Dutch retailers Aktiesport and Perry Sport

Tue, 12/04/2016 JD Sports has bought the trading assets and trade of the Dutch retail stores Aktiesport and Perry Sport from the Authority for Consumers & Markets in the Netherlands.

Tata Steel sells Long Products Europe business to Greybull Capital

Mon, 11/04/2016 Tata Steel has agreed to sell its Long Products Europe business to Greybull Capital. The deal, for a nominal consideration, safeguards the future of 4,800 employees in the UK and France. The acquisition includes the Scunthorpe steelworks, two mills in Teesside, an engineering workshop in Workington, a design consultancy in York and a mill in northern France.

Gett is to become the UK's largest black cab app

Fri, 08/04/2016 Gett is to become the UK’s largest black cab app following the announcement that it has agreed to buy Radio Taxis. The deal also includes Xeta, another black cab brand, and One Transport, a transport and logistics platform used by corporate clients.

DS Smith buys TRM Packaging

Fri, 08/04/2016 DS Smith, a manufacturer of corrugated cardboard, plastic packaging and office supplies, has purchased TRM Packaging. The deal strengthens DS Smith’s position in the north west of England, and improves its FMCG customer base.

Twogether acquired by Next Fifteen Communications Group

Fri, 08/04/2016 The B2B creative and digital marketing agency Twogether has been acquired by Next Fifteen Communications Group.

Elaflex takes over Dantec

Fri, 08/04/2016 Dantec, a specialist manufacturer of hoses used in the offshore sector, has been taken over by the German company Elaflex.

HomeServe to expand its operations in the US

Thu, 07/04/2016 HomeServe has expanded its operations in the US with the acquisition of Utility Service Partners for £53m. HomeServe has operated in the North American market since 2003 and the region accounts for more than a third of its customer base

Dixons Carphone buys Simplifydigital

Thu, 07/04/2016 The broadband, digital TV and fixed line telephone contracts price comparison service Simplifydigital has been acquired by Dixons Carphone.

IHS and Markit reach agreement to merge

Thu, 07/04/2016 The information providers IHS and Markit have agreed to merge. The combined company will be called IHS Markit and will be headquartered in the UK. IHS is a provider of business insight and analytics. Markit, established in 2003, specialises in financial information services.

UK M&A Activity January to March 2016

Tata to offload loss-making UK steel business

Wed, 30/03/2016 Tata Steel is looking for a buyer for its UK steel business, which includes the UK’s biggest steel plant at Port Talbot where 4,000 people are employed, as well as its operations at Shotton, Rotherham and Corby. Tata says that supporting its UK business has lost it more than £2bn over the last five years. The UK Government is in discussions with the company over the future of the Port Talbot plant and says that it is considering ‘all options’. Tata blames the present situation on the global oversupply of steel, the significant increase in steel imports into Europe, high manufacturing costs, continued weakness in domestic market demand for steel and a volatile currency. The company says that all these factors are likely to continue into the future.

Fexco to expand in UK with acquisition of Currency Exchange Corporation

Thu, 24/03/2016 Currency Exchange Corporation (CEC) has been acquired by the Irish financial services provider Fexco. The deal means CEC’s 36 London branches will become part of No.1 Currency, Fexco’s retail foreign exchange business.

Synthomer buys American company Hexion

Thu, 24/03/2016 The chemicals manufacturer Synthomer has moved to improve its position in the performance adhesives and coatings market with the acquisition of the American company Hexion. Based in Ohio, Hexion makes a wide range of dispersions, additives, powder coatings and speciality monomers.

YFM Equity and Octopus Investments sell Callstream Group

Thu, 24/03/2016 YFM Private Equity and Octopus Investments have sold Callstream Group to the American company J2 Global. Callstream is a provider of cloud-based call management systems to the UK insurance, travel and retail indsutries.

Marketing and Media Week to stop publishing

Wed, 23/03/2016 Haymarket Media Group has announced it is to stop publishing content under the Marketing and Media Week brands. The move sees the Campaign brand expanded to include extra material, with Marketing’s current editor Rachel Barnes taking over as Campaign’s UK editor.

Smart Metering Systems acquires IT specialist and two meter suppliers

Mon, 21/03/2016 Smart Metering Systems has bought three companies (CH4, Trojan Utilities and Qton Solutions) for a total cost of £6.9m. CH4 and Trojan both specialise in traditional and smart gas and electricity metering installations. Qton Solutions is a provider of work and field management IT systems applications for gas and electricity metering installations.

ECI acquires pet food manufacturer MPM

Mon, 21/03/2016 The pet food manufacturer MPM has been acquired by the private equity firm ECI. MPM owns premium brands such as Applaws and Encore. ECI has invested in a number of well known consumer brands, including Evans Cycles, Great Rail Journeys and Encore Tickets.

Wolf Filtration acquired by Allied Filter Systems

Mon, 21/03/2016 Allied Filter Systems, a manufacturer of liquid filter bags, has acquired rival business Wolf Filtration.

Liberty Hall Capital Partners takes over Bromford Industries

Mon, 21/03/2016 Bromford Industries has been acquired by the private equity firm Liberty Hall Capital Partners. Bromford is a supplier of close tolerance engine components, fabrications and assemblies and landing gear components for the aerospace and power generation sectors.

London Stock Exchange agrees to merge with Deutsche Börse

Mon, 21/03/2016 An industry leading global markets infrastructure group has been created following the announcement that London Stock Exchange Group and Deutsche Börse AG have agreed to merge. The combined company will have its headquarters based in London and Frankfurt, with the main corporate functions split equally between the two.

2016 Budget Digest

Thu, 17/03/2016 In his latest Budget, George Osborne has announced that corporation tax will be cut to 17% by 2020. The Chancellor also announced tax breaks for the sharing economy, with a new allowance of £1,000 for individuals trading online through sites such as eBay, and another allowance of £1,000 for those deriving property income from renting out rooms on Airbnb. The personal tax allowance will increase to £11,500 from April 2017, when the higher rate threshold will also be raised to £45,000. Class 2 National Insurance will be abolished from April 2018. The higher rate of capital gains tax is to be cut from 28% to 20% from April, but this excludes gains made from residential property. The basic rate is reduced from 18% to 10%.

The ISA savings limit of £15,240 will rise to £20,000 from April 2017.

A ‘lifetime ISA’ is to be introduced for the under-40s, allowing them to save £4,000 each year with the government adding a bonus of 25% on top.

Other changes that will affect businesses include:

Business rate relief will be raised from £6,000 to £15,000 from April 2017, so that 600,000 small businesses will no longer be liable for business rates.

From 2018 there will be a levy on companies producing or importing soft drinks with high levels of sugar content.

Fuel duty was frozen again, despite the dramatic fall in the price of oil.

The prospect of Osborne achieving his aim of eliminating the deficit by 2020 diminished as he downgraded both growth and productivity forecasts

Dechra Pharmaceuticals set to buy Putney for £139m

Thu, 17/03/2016 The US-based animal pharmaceuticals company Putney is to be acquired by Dechra Pharmaceuticals for £139m, a deal which doubles the size of Dechra’s US business.

Andrew Page purchases Solid Auto

Wed, 16/03/2016 Andrew Page has become the leading distributor of Japanese and Korean car parts in the UK following its purchase of Solid Auto.

American company LANDESK buys AppSense

Wed, 16/03/2016 The virtualisation technology specialist AppSense has been taken over by the American company LANDESK. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, LANDESK specialises in developing secure user environment management software.

Trainline expands in Europe with acquisition of Captain Train

Wed, 16/03/2016 The online booking platform Captain Train has been bought by Trainline, an acquisition which creates one of the largest digital rail ticket retailers in Europe. Trainline believes the deal will make European rail travel easier, and is part of its worldwide expansion plans that were put in place when it was taken over by KKR in 2015.

MMT Digital bought by digital marketing group Be Heard

Wed, 16/03/2016 The digital marketing group Be Heard has acquired MMT Digital in a deal which could be worth up to £20m by 2019. MMT is a design, build and user experience agency which has offices in offices in central London and Uppingham.

London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse agree to merge

Wed, 16/03/2016 An industry leading global markets infrastructure group has been created following the announcement that London Stock Exchange Group and Deutsche Börse AG have agreed to merge. The combined company will have its headquarters based in London and Frankfurt, with the main corporate functions split equally between the two.

Avon Cosmetics to move HQ to the UK

Tue, 15/03/2016 Avon Cosmetics is to relocate its corporate headquarters and its core enterprise functions to the UK. The 130-year-old company recently sold its North American business and its commercial operations are now all outside of the United States. In addition Avon is to streamline its operations and reduce the number of people it employs globally by 2,500.

Adecco to take over Penna Consulting in £105.3m deal

Tue, 15/03/2016 Adecco has agreed to buy Penna Consulting for £105.3m. Penna is a human resources consulting group providing communications, recruitment and training services. Headquartered in Switzerland, Adecco is a provider of HR services around the world.

Clearwater International merges with companies in Germany and France

Tue, 15/03/2016 The corporate finance house Clearwater International has merged with companies in Germany (@VISORY) and France (Easton Corporate Finance). The deals mean Clearwater now has 15 offices covering Europe, North America and Asia.

MPs reject Government plans to relax Sunday trading laws

Mon, 14/03/2016 MPs have voted to reject Government proposals to devolve Sunday trading laws to local councils. The proposals would have allowed local authorities in England and Wales to choose areas where shops could stay open longer on Sundays, and given employees the right to opt out of working additional hours. The Government was defeated by 317 votes to 286, as rebel Tory MPs sided with Labour and the SNP. Small shops are permitted to open all day on Sundays, while larger shops are limited to six hours opening between 10am and 6pm.

Abel Brown and Excello Law merge

Thu, 10/03/2016 The law firms Abel Brown and Excello Law have merged.

Eurocell acquires Vista Panels from CorpAcq

Thu, 10/03/2016 CorpAcq has sold Vista Panels to Eurocell. Vista specialises in composite doors and is the sole supplier of entrance doors to Eurocell.

Bregal Freshstream takes over Taziker Industrial

Thu, 10/03/2016 The private equity firm Bregal Freshstream has acquired Taziker Industrial. Established in 1969 as a painting company, Taziker is now a provider of steelwork, surface preparation and scaffolding services, predominantly to the rail industry.

AKQA purchases majority stake in Potato

Tue, 08/03/2016 AKQA, the WPP-owned digital services agency, has bought a majority stake in the digital agency Potato. Headquartered in London, Potato employs approximately 100 people and its clients include Google and Canon. The deal is a continuation of WPP’s investment in rapid growing sectors such as digital and content.

Betafence takes over Hesco

Tue, 08/03/2016 The perimeter fencing company Hesco has been taken over by Betafence.

Numero acquired by Callcredit Information Group

Tue, 08/03/2016 Callcredit Information Group has moved to strengthen its product development and software analytics division with the acquisition of Numero. Established in 2001, Numero specialises in developing customer experience management software.

Vertu Motors buys Greenoaks dealership from Mercedes-Benz

Tue, 08/03/2016 The Mercedes-Benz car dealership Greenoaks has been bought by Vertu Motors for £22m. Vertu is the fifth-largest motor vehicle retailer in the UK.

Culina Group buys Great Bear Distribution

Mon, 07/03/2016 Culina Group has increased its turnover to more than £400m with the acquisition of Great Bear Distribution. Culina is a provider of logistics services to the food and drink industry. Great Bear is a provider of dedicated and shared user warehousing and distribution services.

Japan's Nippon Koei acquires BDP in £102.2m deal

Mon, 07/03/2016 The international architectural practice BDP has been taken over by the Japanese company Nippon Koei. The £102.2m deal means that Nippon Koei, established in 1946, will be able to develop its business in the fast growing Asian commercial markets.

Bureau Veritas expands services with acquisition of HCD

Mon, 07/03/2016 HCD, a provider of building compliance services to the building development sector, has been taken over by Bureau Veritas. The deal enables Bureau Veritas to offer its clients a full range of services covering health, safety, environment and quality. The combined company will employ over 1200 people in the UK and operate from 14 regional offices.

Terberg Environmental and Ros Roca Environment agree merger

Mon, 07/03/2016 The European companies Terberg Environmental and Ros Roca Environment have agreed to merge. The newly combined company will be called Terberg-Ros Roca Group Ltd and be based in Warwick in the UK. The dustcart manufacturer Dennis Eagle is owned by Ros Roca.

Pricoa Capital Group and Allstate Investments take over Kitwave from NVM

Mon, 07/03/2016 NVM Private Equity has sold Kitwave Wholesale Group to Pricoa Capital Group and Allstate Investments. Established in 1988, Kitwave is a national wholesaler which distributes products including confectionery, soft drinks, ice-cream, alcohol and tobacco.

BLME to buy Renaissance Asset Finance

Mon, 07/03/2016 Europe’s largest sharia'a compliant bank, The Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME), has announced it is to acquire Renaissance Asset Finance. The deal is part of BLME’s strategy to develop its leasing business.

E-reading company Nook quits UK

Fri, 04/03/2016 Nook, the American e-reader and tablet company which is owned by Barnes & Noble, has announced it is withdrawing from the UK market. All customers will be transferred across to Sainsbury’s entertainment-on-demand service. The news leaves Kobo and Amazon’s Kindle as the two main e-reading devices available in the UK.

Bunzl acquires two more businesses abroad

Thu, 03/03/2016 Bunzl has announced two further acquisitions which develop its international business. In December 2015 it took over the Brazilian dental supplies company Dental Sorria, and in early February 2016 it bought Earthwise Bag Company. Based in California, Earthwise is a supplier of reusable bags to retailers in the USA.

Servelec takes over Synergy from Tribal Group

Thu, 03/03/2016 Tribal Group has sold Synergy to the technology group Servelec for £20.25m. Synergy provides a range of software products to children’s services departments in local authorities. This sector is undergoing rapid change as all local authorities prepare to become responsible for children’s community health by 2020.

VP plc secures Higher Access in £4.1m deal

Thu, 03/03/2016 The equipment rental company VP plc has bought Higher Access for £4.1m. Higher Access specialises in the rental of specialist tracked access platforms.

Jim Peet (Agriculture) Ltd bought by NWF

Thu, 03/03/2016 The agricultural and distribution company NWF has acquired Jim Peet (Agriculture) Limited. Established in 1977, Jim Peet supplies over 50,000 tonnes of compound and blends to dairy, beef and sheep farmers. The strengthens NWF’s position in the North of England and Scotland.

United Utilities and Severn Trent plan merger

Thu, 03/03/2016 United Utilities and Severn Trent have agreed to merge their non-household water and wastewater retail businesses into a new joint venture (JV). The JV has sales of £940.2m and is based in Stoke-on-Trent.

British-Iranian billionaire buys 49.9% share in Everton FC

Wed, 02/03/2016 Businessman Farhad Moshiri has bought a 49.9% share in Everton FC. Mr Moshiri was previously an Arsenal shareholder, a holding he has sold to Alisher Usmanov to fund his Everton investment.

SAS Autoparts joins The Parts Alliance

Wed, 02/03/2016 The Parts Alliance has acquired garage equipment retailer SAS Autoparts.

Consortium acquires London City Airport

Wed, 02/03/2016 The UK’s leading business airport London City Airport has been acquired by a consortium consisting of OMERS, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Wren House Infrastructure Management.

Air Energi and Swift Worldwide Resources agree merger

Wed, 02/03/2016 The energy recruitment companies Air Energi and Swift Worldwide Resources have agreed to merge. The combined company will be known as Airswift Holdings Limited and operate from three corporate hubs in Manchester, Houston and Singapore.

Shepherd Direct acquires CPBigwood

Tue, 01/03/2016 The property and auctions company CPBigwood has been bought by Shepherd Direct.

Plastique Group taken over by ESCO Technologies

Tue, 01/03/2016 The packaging company Plastique Group has been taken over by the American company ESCO Technologies.

Blackberry announces new cybersecurity services division

Tue, 01/03/2016 Smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has announced it is to launch a new professional cybersecurity services division, which will offer a range of consulting services to businesses. A key part of this new division is the UK-based cybersecurity specialist Encription, which Blackberry has acquired.

Stirling Square Capital Partners buys Mettis

Tue, 01/03/2016 Stirling Square Capital Partners has acquired the aerospace components manufacturer Mettis. With clients including Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Boeing, Mettis is one of the UK’s leading companies in this sector and operates from a purpose-built facility in Redditch.

Sports Shield Consortium to take over Bolton Wanderers FC

Tue, 01/03/2016 Bolton Wanderers FC has agreed to be taken over by the Sports Shield Consortium. The deal comes at a difficult time for the club, which has debts of nearly £200m and is facing relegation to League One.

Allianz Global Investors buys Rogge Global Partners

Tue, 01/03/2016 The asset management group Allianz Global Investors has bought Rogge Global Partners from Old Mutual. Rogge Global Partners is a global fixed income specialist.

US firm buys Rekoop

Mon, 29/02/2016 Rekoop, a provider of cloud software services, has been acquired by the American legal software company Intapp.

Bashton acquired by Claranet Group

Mon, 29/02/2016 Bashton, an IT company which specialises in Amazon Web Services related infrastructure, has been taken over by Claranet. The deal means Claranet Group now has annual revenues in excess of £165m.

Bristol Rovers FC taken over by the Jordanian Al-Qadi family

Mon, 29/02/2016 Bristol Rovers Football Club has been taken over by the Jordanian Al-Qadi family. Established in 1883, Bristol Rovers are currently in League Two and overshadowed by city rivals Bristol City, who are two divisions higher in the Championship.

LDC buys CitySprint for £175m

Thu, 25/02/2016 The private equity firm Dunedin has sold CitySprint to LDC for £175m. CitySprint provides a range of same day courier services and specialised logistics services.

Trinity Mirror launches new daily newspaper

Tue, 23/02/2016 Trinity Mirror is to launch the UK’s first standalone national daily newspaper for 30 years. The New Day will be available from Monday 29 February across the UK. The first issue will be available for free, then for the next two weeks The New Day will be priced at 25p and after that it will cost 50p. Published Monday to Friday, The New Day will ‘cover news and topical content but with a modern style and tone, aimed at a wide audience of women and men who want something different from what is currently available. It will report with an upbeat, optimistic approach and will be politically neutral

Bombardier to cut 1,080 jobs in Northern Ireland

Thu, 18/02/2016 The Canadian aircraft and train manufacturer Bombardier is to cut 10% of its global workforce including 1,080 jobs in Belfast. Bombardier is the largest private sector employer in Northern Ireland.

Game DIGITAL expands eSports & events with SocialNat acquisition

Thu, 18/02/2016 The PC and video games retailer Game DIGITAL has expanded its eSports & events division with the acquisition of SocialNat, a Spanish eSports company. 150,000 gamers use the SocialNat platform, and the company has organised qualifying rounds of FIFA and Call of Duty for the Electronic Sports World Cup. Game is responsible for Insomnia, the UK's largest gaming festival.

Tesco takes over Harris + Hoole

Thu, 18/02/2016 Tesco has taken over 100% ownership of the artisan coffee chain Harris + Hoole. Tesco previously owned 49% of the company, which recently announced it had made a loss of £25m in the last financial year

OHP Group acquired by Speedy Hire

Wed, 17/02/2016 The tool hire company Speedy Hire has bought OHP Group. The deal includes Rail Hire (UK) Limited and Crewe Plant Hire.

HgCapital invests in Citation

Wed, 17/02/2016 Citation has been acquired by the private equity firm HgCapital. Citation is a provider of HR and Employment law, Health & Safety, and ISO services to companies across the UK.

Universal Meats acquired by BRF

Mon, 15/02/2016 The Brazilian food company BRF has acquired Universal Meats. Based in Kent, Universal Meats supplies products to the wholesale, manufacturing and sandwich industries.

Maven Capital Partners backs MBO of EE Smith Contracts

Mon, 15/02/2016 Maven Capital Partners has backed a £11m MBO of the interior fit-out contractor EE Smith Contracts.

Just Eat buys four businesses abroad

Mon, 15/02/2016 The online food delivery company Just Eat has moved to expand worldwide with the acquisition of four businesses from Rocket Internet and foodpanda. The £94.7m deal includes La Nevera Roja in Spain and hellofood operations in Italy, Brazil and Mexico.

Microsoft acquires Swiftkey

Mon, 15/02/2016 Swiftkey, the developer of keyboard apps for Android and iPhone smart devices, has been bought by Microsoft. Launched in 2010, Swiftkey’s technology is used by more than 300 million devices around the world. The acquisition gives Microsoft a foothold in a market, smart phones, where its traditional product range is little used.

HSBC to remain headquartered in the UK

Mon, 15/02/2016 HSBC has announced it is to keep its headquarters based in the UK. The decision is a boost to the UK’s position as a leading western financial centre, following speculation that HSBC would be relocating to Hong Kong in response to growing regulation of the UK banking sector. HSBC has also announced it is to scrap its triennial review of this issue, and will only look again at the matter if there is a “material change in circumstances”.

The Independent to cease printing in March 2016

Fri, 12/02/2016 The Independent newspaper will cease to be printed on 26 March. The title will continue as a digital-only product. The Independent’s owner, ESI Media, says the website is profitable and is expected to see revenue growth of 50% this year. ESI Media has also confirmed that it will sell i newspaper to Johnston Press for around £24m. The first edition of The Independent was produced almost 30 years ago in October 1986.

US firm buys Kitbag from Findel

Tue, 02/02/2016 The online specialist sports retailer Kitbag has been sold by Findel to the American company Fanatics for £11.55m. Findel will use the money generated to reduce debt and invest in Express Gifts and Findel Education.

Open + Direct bought by Abbey Insurance Brokers

Tue, 02/02/2016 Swinton Group has sold the Open + Direct business to Abbey Insurance Brokers. Established in 1973, Abbey is Northern Ireland’s largest locally owned insurance broker. Open + Direct is a consumer insurance company which has been operating in Northern Ireland since 2000.

Zip Textiles acquired by Johnson Service Group

Tue, 02/02/2016 Johnson Service Group (JSG) has acquired Zip Textiles for £15m. Zip will work closely with JSG's existing Bourne business.

Sainsbury's agrees £1.1bn takeover of Argos

Tue, 02/02/2016 Sainsbury’s has agreed a £1.1bn deal to take over Home Retail Group, owner of Argos. The deal will strengthen Sainsbury’s position in the fast growing click and collect sector, where Argos already has a strong infrastructure in place.

Shoe retailer Brantano goes into administration

Fri, 22/01/2016 The shoe retailer Brantano (UK) Ltd has gone into administration. The company operates 140 stores and 60 concessions across the UK and employs around 2,000 staff, including 200 at its head office in Coalville, Leicestershire. Brantano was acquired by Alteri Investors in October 2015 but has experienced difficult trading conditions. The administrators say “Like many others, Brantano has been hit hard by the change in consumers’ shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment” and that they are now assessing interest in the UK Brantano business as a whole or its parts and welcome approaches from interested parties.

Mazars merges with Chinese audit firm ZhongShen ZhongHuan

Wed, 20/01/2016 The accountancy firm Mazars has merged with the Chinese audit firm ZhongShen ZhongHuan, a deal which creates a full-service firm operating in 77 countries. Mazars announced similar deals with firms in Germany, Australia, Mozambique and Cyprus in 2015.

Suffolk Life sold to Curtis Banks by Legal & General

Mon, 18/01/2016 Legal & General has sold Suffolk Life to Curtis Banks for £45m. The deal makes Curtis Banks the second largest independent full SIPP provider in the UK.

Wesfarmers to buy Homebase from Home Retail Group

Mon, 18/01/2016 Home Retail Group has agreed to sell Homebase to the Australian retailer Wesfarmers for £340m. The acquisition gives Wesfarmers access to the UK’s £38bn home improvement and garden sector. There are more than 300 large, out-of-town Homebase stores throughout the UK and Ireland. Click here to buy the mailing list of director level and c-level contacts involved in this deal

Tata Steel to cut 1,050 UK jobs

Mon, 18/01/2016 Tata Steel UK is to cut 1,050 jobs – 750 at its Port Talbot-based Strip Products business, 200 in support functions and a further 100 at steel mills in Trostre, Corby and Hartlepool. Tata says that the job cuts are part of a cost saving initiative designed to improve the competitiveness of its UK business following continued falls in the European steel price caused by a flood of cheap imports, particularly from China. Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “We need the European Commission to accelerate its response to unfairly traded imports and increase the robustness of its actions. Not doing so threatens the future of the entire European steel industry. And while we welcome progress on UK energy costs, the Government must take urgent action to increase the competitiveness of the UK for its vital steel sector. This includes lowering business rates and supporting energy efficiency and anti-dumping cases so we can compete fairly”.

Countryside Properties to float on London Stock Exchange

Thu, 14/01/2016 The housebuilder and urban regeneration business Countryside Properties has announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange. The company operates under the Countryside and Millgate brands, primarily around London and the South East, and has a target of over 1,200 housing completions a year up to 2018. Countryside hopes the share sale will raise £114m, of which £64m will go towards reducing the group’s debt, with £50m earmarked for the development of Countryside’s sites at Acton, Beaulieu, Hazel End and Rayleigh.

Hargreaves Services seals £11.85m deal for C A Blackwell Group

Thu, 14/01/2016 Hargreaves Services has bought C A Blackwell Group for £11.85m. Blackwell’s expertise in bulk earthmoving and civil engineering will be used to complement Hargreaves’ activities in mining and quarrying services contracts. Click here to buy the mailing list of director level and c-level contacts involved in this deal

Nexus Vehicle Rental acquired by Bowmark Capital in £51m deal

Thu, 14/01/2016 The private equity firm Bowmark Capital has bought Nexus Vehicle Rental for £51m. Established in 1999, Nexus Vehicle Rental is a B2B broker of rental vehicles. 

Bloomberg buys risk analytics and index solutions business from Barclays

Thu, 14/01/2016 Barclays has sold its risk analytics and index solutions (RAIS) division to Bloomberg. The RAIS team is to be integrated into Bloomberg’s analytic dashboards, portfolio analytics, order management systems and execution management systems.

PKF Cooper Parry and Clement Keys merge

Thu, 14/01/2016 The accountancy firms PKF Cooper Parry and Clement Keys have merged. The combined firm will trade as PKF Cooper Parry and consist of 350 people working across two offices in the East and West Midlands.

Servest acquires Accuro Catering

Thu, 14/01/2016 Servest, a provider of facilities management services, has acquired the contract catering company Accuro Catering. The deal enables Servest to expand its presence in the education, hospitals and healthcare sectors.

Michelin takes over Bookatable

Wed, 13/01/2016 The online restaurant booking company Bookatable has been taken over by Michelin. With offices in London, Hamburg and Stockholm, Bookatable has previously worked in partnership with Michelin.

Co-op Legal Services expands with Collective Legal Solutions

Wed, 13/01/2016 The Co-op Group has expanded its legal services division, Co-op Legal Services, with the acquisition of Collective Legal Solutions (CLS). Established in 2007, CLS is a provider of wills, trust and probate services. Co-op Legal Services was the UK’s first alternative business structure (ABS) when it was established in 2012. It now provides legal services to more than 100,000 consumers across the UK, with a focus on probate, wills, family law, personal injury, employment and conveyancing.

First Derivatives acquires QuantumKDB

Wed, 13/01/2016 First Derivatives, a provider of software and consulting services, has bought QuantumKDB for £2.2m. The acquisition adds a number of new clients to First’s client base, as well as ownership of technology used by clients operating in capital markets.

ANS Group takes over Eison

Wed, 13/01/2016 The specialist IT service provider Eison has been taken over by ANS Group. Established in 2006, Eison provides mission critical managed data network services to organisations in the public and private sector. ANS Group will have a turnover of £60m upon completion of the deal.

Park Signalling bought by Unipart Rail

Wed, 13/01/2016 Unipart Rail has acquired Park Signalling. Established in 2000, Park Signalling specialises in maintaining signalling system equipment.

Carillion buys majority stake in Ask Real Estate

Tue, 12/01/2016 Carillion has bought a majority stake in the property development company Ask Real Estate.

Mergermarket Group acquires Creditflux

Tue, 12/01/2016 Creditflux has been acquired by Mergermarket Group. Creditflux is a provider of intelligence, analysis, data and events covering credit fund pricing, investments, trading and returns.

3i buys Audley Travel from Equistone

Thu, 07/01/2016 Equistone Partners Europe has sold Audley Travel to rival private equity firm 3i Group. Equistone has agreed to invest £159m in Audley Travel upon completion of the deal.

Grainger sells equity release divison

Thu, 07/01/2016 The residential landlord company Grainger has sold its equity release division to Patron Capital Partners and Electra Private Equity. The £325m deal is part of Grainger’s strategy to simplify its business model. It plans to use the proceeds of the sale to reduce debt and invest in its private rented sector division.

Centre4 Testing and The Test People merge

Wed, 06/01/2016 The UK’s largest software testing company has been formed following the merger of Centre4 Testing and The Test People.

Epwin Group acquires Stormking Plastics

Wed, 06/01/2016 Stormking Plastics has been acquired by Epwin Group. Stormking is a supplier of building components to the house building and construction industry, and Epwin believes the deal will enable it to increase the range of low maintenance building products it offers.