A management buyout backed by the private equity firm Endless, has been completed The Book People. Established in 1988, The Book People is a £96m turnover online book retailer.
Gorkana Group, a company which specialises in multi-channel media monitoring and PR measurement services, has been acquired by the American PR, social software and insight services provider Cision. The Gorkana brand will be retained.
The Formula 1 field has been reduced to nine teams following the news that the Marussia and Caterham teams have gone into administration. Caterham was sold by businessman Tony Fernandes to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors earlier this year, however this has not prevented it sliding into further difficulties. Both UK-based teams have had little success since they entered the sport in 2010, with the best result between them a 9th place at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix from Marussia’s Jules Bianchi. The last Formula 1 team to withdraw from the sport was the Spanish outfit HRT in 2012.
Lloyds Banking Group is to cut a further 9,000 jobs and reduce the number of branches it has by 150 by 2017. The changes form part of the latest phase of the group’s strategy to turn itself into a low cost, low risk, customer-focused UK retail and commercial bank. Lloyds Banking Group says that is investing heavily in its digital capabilities but that it remains committed to ensure that over 90 per cent of Lloyds and Bank of Scotland customers will continue to have a branch within five miles of their home and that its Halifax branch network will be maintained. The Government still owns 25% of the group, which had to be rescued during the financial crisis in 2009, since when it has reduced the number of people it employs by 30,000. Britain’s largest union Unite says that the job losses could have “unknown consequences on customer service and will put even more pressure on staff who have helped get the bank back on the right track”, and adds that it will be seeking guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies.
The private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe has bought Travel Counsellors. Established in 1994, Travel Counsellors is an independent travel agency that operates in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, South Africa, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Australia and Canada.
The premium cooked poultry business Benson Park has been acquired by Cranswick. The deal allows Cranswick to expand into a new protein category.
GDP increased by 0.7% in the third quarter of 2014 compared with growth of 0.9% in the second quarter according to the latest set of economic data published by the Office for National Statistics. Growth was fastest in the construction sector at 0.8% and slowest in agriculture at 0.3%. UK GDP is now 3.4% higher than it was before the economic downturn in 2008.
The Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent is to stand down from his role. The announcement is made as the Deloitte investigation into Tesco’s overstated half-year profits is concluded, with the final figure confirmed as £263m. Tesco has also announced that half-year sales are down 4.6% and a decline in year-on-year group trading profit.
Allegro Networks, a provider of IT infrastructure and data centre services, has been acquired by the American company IIX.
Home Retail Group has announced it is to close 25% of Homebase stores by 2019. The closures form part of a three year business plan which aims to enable the home improvement retailer to compete with digital and multi-channel competitors. Home Retail Group says that a number of the 323 Homebase stores it owns in the UK are ‘either unprofitable or are in decline’ and a reduction will allow it to engage in a ‘more aggressive store investment programme’.