DWF is to merge with the German law firm BridgehouseLaw. The deal increases DWF’s international footprint, giving it access to the German market via BridgehouseLaw’s Cologne and Munich operations, and the Middle East in countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel. The combined firm will have a turnover of £194m and employ more than 2,000 people.
The craft brewer Camden Town Brewery (CTB) has been taken over by AB Inbev. CTB will use the added investment to expand its operations and increase sales of its canned, bottled and kegged beers.
Kurt Geiger, the fashion brand established in 1963, has been acquired by the private equity firm Cinven. Kurt Geiger will use the fresh investment to expand via in-market consolidation and international growth in Asia and Australia.
The electricity and gas regulator Ofgem has fined npower £26m as a result of the supplier’s billing and complaint handling failings. npower says the failings stemmed from the introduction of a new IT system. Between September 2013 and December 2014, npower issued over 500,000 late bills, with some customers also receiving inaccurate bills with little or no detail on how these were calculated. During this period, npower customers made over 2 million complaints, with the majority being about late or inaccurate bills. However npower recorded a significant number of complaints incorrectly, leading to unresolved complaints being logged as resolved and multiple records created for a single issue. The £26m fine will be divided between some of the worst affected customers and charity. npower has agreed to new improvement targets, and if the company fails to meet them by June 2016 it will be forced to cease domestic sales activity and advertising. npower is a subsidiary of Germany’s RWE.
Rigby Private Equity has acquired Zycko. Established in 1999, Zycko is a specialist IT distributor.
Vianet Group has sold its fuel management subsidiary, Vianet Fuel Solutions (VFS), to the American company Wayne Fueling Systems. VFS specialises in real-time wet-stock management, asset management and compliance monitoring services.
Alcumus has announced it is now able to provide a wide range of outsourced risk management services following the acquisition of Santia Consulting and SafeContractor. Santia Consulting provides integrated health & safety and environment risk management services and SafeContractor is one of the UK’s main contractor accreditation and verification schemes.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) and Bekaert have announced that Bridon (owned by OTPP) and Bekaert’s ropes and advanced cords division are to merge. Bekaert will own a 67% stake in the new company, which will be called Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group. Bridon manufactures rope and wire for use in construction, mining, oil and gas detection, telecomms and other specialised markets.
French car manufacturer Renault is to return to Formula 1 with its own team following the announcement that is has agreed to buy the UK-based Lotus F1 team. Renault has been involved in Formula 1 since 1977, winning with its own team in 2005 and 2006, and supplying engines for Red Bull’s title winning seasons from 2010 through to 2013.
The Carlyle Group has sold its stake in the RAC to CVC Capital Partners. The deal means the RAC, the second-largest roadside assistance provider in the UK, will continue to receive investment to improve its technology, data and telematics functions.