The International Olympic Committee has awarded the exclusive TV rights in Europe for the Olympic Games from 2018-2024 to Discovery Communications, the parent company of Eurosport, for £900m. Live coverage of the Olympic Games is protected in the UK, meaning that Discovery will have to sub-license a portion of the rights to either the BBC, ITV or Channel 4. In other European markets Discovery has committed to broadcasting a minimum of 200 hours (100 hours for the Winter Olympics) on free to air television.
NHS England has chosen Capita as the preferred bidder for a £1bn contract to become the single provider of administrative support functions for primary care across the UK. The 7 to 10 year contract will see Capita introduce a common set of services, processes and standards across the NHS that it says will ‘improve the quality, reliability and sustainability of administration support services’. Capita says that ‘accessible services and better ways of working will contribute significant savings in keeping with NHS England’s commitment to reduce administration costs and protect investment in frontline care’.
The chocolate retailer Thorntons has been acquired by the Italian confectionery company Ferrero for £112m. Ferrero’s brands include Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Surprise and tic tac.
The American electronic measurement company Keysight Technologies has acquired Anite for £388m. Keysight’s hardware is used in the wireless communications, aerospace and defence industries, and it believes taking over Anite will further strengthen its position as a supplier for wireless design and validation tools. Anite, established in 1973 as Cray Electronics Ltd, is a supplier of testing, measurement, optimisation and analytics systems to the international wireless market.
Finsbury Food Group has added another company to its portfolio with the acquisition of Johnstone’s Just Desserts. The deal enables Finsbury to diversify into the foodservice cake channel.
The German tower crane manufacturer WOLFFKRAN has acquired HTC Plant. A WOLFFKRAN dealer since 1975, HTC Plant is a tower crane rental company with a fleet of more than 200 cranes.
The catering industry’s consolidation has continued as CH&Co and HCM Group merge. The deal creates a £200m turnover company which employs 4,500 people across 400 sites. Brands covered by the newly merged group include Ampersand, Charlton House, Lusso, Chester Boyd, Host, Catermasters and Couture.
HSBC is to cut up to 8,000 jobs in the UK as part of a global cost reduction exercise. The bank has also announced that its UK retail bank will be rebranded and that it is considering moving its headquarters out of the UK.
The investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has backed the £500m management buyout of the forecourt operator Motor Fuel Group (MFG). Previously owned by institutional investor Patron, MFG operates 373 stations under the BP, Shell, Texaco and Jet brands.
O2 has taken over sole ownership of the mobile marketing agency Weve, a joint venture set up by O2, EE and Vodafone. The change of ownership means that Weve now has access to the UK’s biggest first party mobile data set.