Groupe Eurotunnel sells GB Railfreight to EQT

GB Railfreight, the UK’s third largest rail freight operator, has been sold by Groupe Eurotunnel to the Swedish private equity firm EQT.

Essential Recruitment undergoes MBO

A management buyout has been completed at Chesterfield-headquartered Essential Recruitment.

Playtech buys ECM Systems

Playtech has bought the bingo software company ECM Systems. The £14.9m deal strengthens Playtech’s position in the UK retail bingo market.

Living Wage Foundation announces new rates

The Living Wage Foundation has announced new living wage rates for the UK and London. The UK rate increases from £8.25 to £8.45 per hour, and the London rate goes up from £9.40 to £9.75 per hour. The UK wide figure is 17% higher than the government minimum for over 25s. There are nearly 3,000 accredited Living Wage employers in the UK, with Everton FC, the British Library, RSA Insurance, Curzon Cinemas and DLA Piper all announcing today that they are signing up for accreditation. Everton’s decision to sign up means that there are now two accredited Living Wage employers in the Premier League, the other being Chelsea.

Polyframe Group acquires The Window Bureau

The Window Bureau has been acquired by Polyframe Group. The Window Bureau was established in 1981 and is a manufacturer of PVCu windows and doors, GRP composite doors and PVCu door infill panels for the trade sector. The deal fits in with Polyframe’s strategic aim of being a market leading trade fabricator of high quality windows and doors.

Coty acquires ghd for £420m

The premium hairstyling brand ghd has been bought by Coty for £420m. ghd will be integrated into Coty’s professional beauty division.

Ruling states that Uber drivers are entitled to National Minimum Wage and paid holiday

The London Central Employment Tribunal has ruled that a group of Uber drivers are not self-employed but are workers entitled to workers’ rights including the National Minimum Wage and paid holiday. The ruling is likely to lead to other workers operating in the fast growing “gig economy” making similar claims.

Twitter discontinues Vine

Twitter has announced it is to discontinue the mobile video sharing app Vine. Launched in 2013, Vine allows users to share looping six second video clips. The video app sector is extremely competitive, and Vine is perceived to have struggled as rival services such as Snapchat and Instagram have increased in popularity.

Future of 7,000 workers secured as Nissan announces new investment in Sunderland car plant

In a major boost to the UK car industry, Nissan has announced it is to produce the next Qashqai at its plant in Sunderland. In addition, it has added production of the next X-Trail model. Nissan says that as a result of the “support and assurances of the UK government”, it will increase investment at the plant, securing the future of 7,000 workers. The decision is the first major one to be made by the car industry since the UK voted to leave the EU in June.

Heathrow expansion gets go-ahead

The Government has announced its support for a new runway at Heathrow Airport. The Government believes the new runway will bring benefits worth up to £61bn to the economy and create up to 77,000 additional local jobs over the next 14 years. The new runway will be the first new full length runway built in the South East since the Second World War.