Stantec to buy Peter Brett Associates

Global design firm Stantec has agreed to buy Peter Brett Associates, an independent firm of over 700 engineers, planners, scientists and economists based in Reading. PBA has 14 offices in the UK as well as three offices in Europe, and delivers projects in a range of sectors including commercial, energy, housebuilding, public sector, urban regeneration, waste and water. PBA is involved in projects such as HS2 and the Thames Tideway Project, London’s largest sewer upgrade since the Victorian era. Of Stantec’s 22,000 staff, 2,400 are based in the UK.

Shearwater Group has agreed terms for the acquisition of cybersecurity firm Brookcourt Solutions. The £30.3m deal would substantially expand Shearwater’s cybersecurity and managed service offering and provide access to a large enterprise client base. Brookcourt specialises in cybersecurity and network solutions and has longstanding customer relationships with numerous FTSE 100 and 250 companies. The business generated revenue of £22.2m and EBITDA of £2.8m in the financial year before last.

Kerridge Commercial Systems has acquired EDP, an LSE-listed supplier of sales analytics, CRM and ERP software. Its products include Quantum and Vecta, which will sit alongside the K8 ERP solution. Apart from the Vecta CRM/BI product, EDP’s applications will eventually be phased out in favour of KCS’s own solutions. KCS currently serves over 10,000 customers across Europe, South Africa and the US.

esure Group, the owner of Sheila’s Wheels, has accepted a £1.2bn offer to go private. Bain Capital has offered 280p per share for the insurer, a 37% premium on its closing price of 204p on Friday 11 August. Since its IPO in 2013, esure has grown to nearly 2.5m in-force policies, delivered over £800m of annual gross written premiums, and completed a £500m demerger of GoCompare in 2016.

Full-service agency Lightbox has merged with social media specialist Blake7. Lightbox was founded in 2005 by Rob Pollard while Blake7 was established just last year by Birmingham entrepeneur PJ Ellis. The combined firm will retain Lightbox’s name and be based in Birmingham, stewarded by Rob Pollard with Ellis taking the role of commercial director.

Games developer Sumo Group has completed a £2.2m deal for The Chinese Room, the creator of games such as ‘Dear Esther’, ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture’, and ‘So Let Us Melt’. Based in Brighton, The Chinese Room will operate as part of Sumo Digital, becoming its fifth studio.

The Mailing Room has acquired independent franking machine supplier Franking Direct for an undisclosed sum. With ambitions to double the size of TMR within five years, this deal continues a trend of recent takeovers which have included Mailing Systems and MailServe. The deal strengthens TMR’s market presence in the outer London area in particular.

AIM-listed wealth management firm Mattioli Woods has acquired Broughtons Financial Planning for £4m. Founded in 2001, Broughtons provides financial advice and administration for over 250 individual clients, with over £120m of assets under advice.

DIY chain Homebase plans to close 42 stores, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk. Restructuring specialist Hilco, which bought the business for £1 in May, has confirmed plans for a Company Voluntary Arrangement. 17 Homebase stores have already been closed as well as 303 head office jobs axed this year. The announcement leads a succession of grim news for the UK high street, which has seen over 30,000 job losses in 2018 so far.

Optimo Care Group has completed a second acquisition of the year with the takeover of Choices Home Care. Based in Huddersfield, Choices provides specialist and complex home and community support across Kirklees and Wakefield and is rated “Good” by the CQC. The deal sees owner Amanda Banbury retire from the business. This latest addition follows Optimo’s acquisition of Yorkshire Care and Support in April.

Stantec to buy Peter Brett Associates

Global design firm Stantec has agreed to buy Peter Brett Associates, an independent firm of over 700 engineers, planners, scientists and economists based in Reading. PBA has 14 offices in the UK as well as three offices in Europe, and delivers projects in a range of sectors including commercial, energy, housebuilding, public sector, urban regeneration, waste and water. PBA is involved in projects such as HS2 and the Thames Tideway Project, London’s largest sewer upgrade since the Victorian era. Of Stantec’s 22,000 staff, 2,400 are based in the UK.

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Shearwater Group to buy Brookcourt Solutions in £30m deal

Shearwater Group has agreed terms for the acquisition of cybersecurity firm Brookcourt Solutions. The £30.3m deal would substantially expand Shearwater’s cybersecurity and managed service offering and provide access to a large enterprise client base. Brookcourt specialises in cybersecurity and network solutions and has longstanding customer relationships with numerous FTSE 100 and 250 companies. The business generated revenue of £22.2m and EBITDA of £2.8m in the financial year before last.

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Kerridge Commercial Systems buys EDP

Kerridge Commercial Systems has acquired EDP, an LSE-listed supplier of sales analytics, CRM and ERP software. Its products include Quantum and Vecta, which will sit alongside the K8 ERP solution. Apart from the Vecta CRM/BI product, EDP’s applications will eventually be phased out in favour of KCS’s own solutions. KCS currently serves over 10,000 customers across Europe, South Africa and the US.

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esure to go private in £1.2bn deal

esure Group, the owner of Sheila’s Wheels, has accepted a £1.2bn offer to go private. Bain Capital has offered 280p per share for the insurer, a 37% premium on its closing price of 204p on Friday 11 August. Since its IPO in 2013, esure has grown to nearly 2.5m in-force policies, delivered over £800m of annual gross written premiums, and completed a £500m demerger of GoCompare in 2016.

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Digital agencies Lightbox and Blake7 merge

Full-service agency Lightbox has merged with social media specialist Blake7. Lightbox was founded in 2005 by Rob Pollard while Blake7 was established just last year by Birmingham entrepeneur PJ Ellis. The combined firm will retain Lightbox’s name and be based in Birmingham, stewarded by Rob Pollard with Ellis taking the role of commercial director.

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Sumo Group acquires The Chinese Room

Games developer Sumo Group has completed a £2.2m deal for The Chinese Room, the creator of games such as ‘Dear Esther’, ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture’, and ‘So Let Us Melt’. Based in Brighton, The Chinese Room will operate as part of Sumo Digital, becoming its fifth studio.

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The Mailing Room acquires Franking Direct

The Mailing Room has acquired independent franking machine supplier Franking Direct for an undisclosed sum. With ambitions to double the size of TMR within five years, this deal continues a trend of recent takeovers which have included Mailing Systems and MailServe. The deal strengthens TMR’s market presence in the outer London area in particular.

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Mattioli Woods buys Broughtons

AIM-listed wealth management firm Mattioli Woods has acquired Broughtons Financial Planning for £4m. Founded in 2001, Broughtons provides financial advice and administration for over 250 individual clients, with over £120m of assets under advice.

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Homebase plans to close 42 stores

DIY chain Homebase plans to close 42 stores, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk. Restructuring specialist Hilco, which bought the business for £1 in May, has confirmed plans for a Company Voluntary Arrangement. 17 Homebase stores have already been closed as well as 303 head office jobs axed this year. The announcement leads a succession of grim news for the UK high street, which has seen over 30,000 job losses in 2018 so far.

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Optimo Care Group makes choice acquisition

Optimo Care Group has completed a second acquisition of the year with the takeover of Choices Home Care. Based in Huddersfield, Choices provides specialist and complex home and community support across Kirklees and Wakefield and is rated “Good” by the CQC. The deal sees owner Amanda Banbury retire from the business. This latest addition follows Optimo’s acquisition of Yorkshire Care and Support in April.

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