550 jobs lost as CarCraft ceases trading

The used car hypermarket group CarCraft has ceased trading with the loss of 550 jobs. The Rochdale-based chain was founded in 1951 and had ten sites across the UK.

Kier Group buys Mouchel for £265m

Kier Group has announced it is to buy the international infrastructure services and business services group Mouchel. The £265m deal sees Kier combine its local authority roads market expertise with Mouchel’s strength in strategic highways services to create a market leader in the UK’s highways maintenance and management sector. The Department for Transport is planning to invest £15bn in over 100 major schemes to enhance, renew and improve the UK’s road network.

Morrisons to cut 720 head office jobs and recruit 5,000 shop floor staff

Morrisons is to cut 720 roles at its head office while simultaneously recruiting 5,000 shop floor staff. The retailer says that it is ‘reshaping the way that its business is staffed’, with a view to improving service, increasing availability and opening more checkouts. Head office employees whose roles are being made redundant will be offered a role in a Morrisons store and some will be redeployed in other parts of the business.

Clydesdale Bank fined £20m for PPI failings

Clydesdale Bank, the operator of the Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank brands, has been fined £20.6m by the Financial Conduct Authority for serious failings in its PPI complaint handling processes. The FCA found that between May 2011 and July 2013 Clydesdale’s PPI complaint handlers were not taking into account all relevant documents when deciding how to deal with complaints. In addition Clydesdale provided false information to the Financial Ombudsman Service when asked for evidence of the records the bank held on PPI policies sold to individual customers. The FCA says that up to 42,200 PPI complaints from Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank customers may have been rejected unfairly and up to 50,900 upheld complaints may have resulted in inadequate redress for customers. Clydesdale will be reviewing all PPI complaints handled prior to August 2014 and offering compensation to those affected.

£60m secondary MBO at Adare Group

A £60m secondary management buyout of Adare Group has been completed, backed by the private equity firm Endless. Adare is a provider of global marketing procurement services.

Accountancy firms Chantrey Vellacott DFK and Moore Stephens merge

The accountancy firms Chantrey Vellacott DFK and Moore Stephens are to merge, with the combined partnership trading as Moore Stephens. The Moore Stephens International network has a turnover of £1.9bn with offices in 103 countries.

Majestic Wine acquires Naked Wines for £70m

The international online wine company Naked Wines has been bought by Majestic Wine. The £70m deal creates a multi-channel wine retailer, with Naked Wines’ online service combining with Majestic’s nationwide network of stores. Rowan Gormley, founder and chief executive of Naked Wines, is to take over as chief executive of Majestic.

Royal Dutch Shell buys BG Group for £47bn

In one of the biggest M&A deals of the year, Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to acquire BG Group for £47bn. BG specialises in the exploration and production of oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) products. The acquisition is expected to almost double Shell’s LNG capacity by 2018.

PaperlinX UK goes into administration with the loss of 700 jobs

The UK division of PaperlinX has gone into administration with the immediate loss of 693 jobs. The paper merchant’s businesses include Paper Company Ltd, Howard Smith Paper Group Ltd, Robert Horne Group Ltd and PaperlinX Services (Europe) Ltd. The administrators say that 14 sites have been closed but the businesses will continue to trade from five sites to ‘secure the best value available from current stock holdings and other assets’. The administrators are attempting to find a purchaser for all or parts of the businesses. The UK packaging businesses of PaperlinX UK (Parkside Packaging Ltd, 1st Class Packaging Ltd and Donington Packaging Supplies Ltd) remain outside of administration and continue to trade normally.

Net-A-Porter and YOOX merge

The online retailers Net-A-Porter and YOOX have agreed to merge. Richemont, the owner of a range of luxury brands, will have a 50% stake in the newly combined company. Established in 2000, Net-A-Porter is an online luxury fashion retailer. YOOX is an Italian company which specialises in fashion and design brands.