ScottishPower has been fined £18m following an Ofgem investigation into the utility provider’s complaint resolution, call handling and billing processes. Up to £15m of the money will be paid to vulnerable ScottishPower customers who were affected by customer service issues and the remainder to charity. Ofgem found that ScottishPower didn’t do enough to protect its customers from issues that arose from the implementation of a new IT system, resulting in a significant increase in the number of complaints it received, some of which were handled poorly with a significant number taking too long to resolve. ScottishPower’s failures also resulted in over 300,000 customers receiving late final bills.
Austin Reed has become the second long-established British retailer to go into administration in two days. The 116-year-old clothing and tailoring business employs 1,000 people and operates 155 shops.
The retailer BHS has gone into administration. The company employs more than 10,000 people and operates 164 shops. Last year the homewares and clothing retailer that was formerly known as British Home Stores was bought for £1 by its current owners from Sir Philip Green, owner of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Dorothy Perkins. BHS has a £570m pension deficit and has been suffering falling sales for some time. In a bid to keep afloat, the retailer has recently negotiated rent cuts with its landlords and sold off assets. The administrators plan to keep the business trading as usual and search for a buyer.
Zoopla Property Group has agreed to buy Property Software from LDC for £75m. Property Software is a provider of specialist software services, and the deal enables Zoopla to offer a comprehensive range of services to property professionals.
Rowlands Accountants has been acquired by Baldwins Accountants.
A management buyout has been completed at Panther Logistics. The £17m deal is backed by the private equity firm LDC. Panther specialises in two-man and one-man delivery services for companies such as Dunelm, Silent Night and Bosch Siemens Group.
The supply teaching agency ABC Teachers has been taken over by the digital education company TES Global.
The timber roofing provider John Brash & Co has been taken over by Marley Eternit. The deal creates one of the UK’s largest roofing specialists.
The private equity firm Maven has backed the £12m management buyout of the medical products manufacturer Westfield Medical.
Eclectic Bar Group, owner of brands such as Po Na Na and Fez Bar, has agreed to buy the owner of Brighton Pier for £18m.