Tata Steel and thyssenkrupp have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enter into a 50:50 joint venture that creates Europe’s second largest steel group. The deal combines the companies’ flat steel businesses, bringing together some 48,000 employees and £13.3bn in annual revenues. The enterprise will be headquartered in Amsterdam and is expected to lead to roughly 4,000 job losses, although it does secure the immediate future of the Port Talbot steelworks. Together, thyssenkrupp Tata Steel will ship about 21m tonnes of flat steel each year.
Global technology group Verint has agreed to take over Staffordshire-based back office software specialist EG Solutions for £26.3m. Verint Systems employs around 5,000 people and is worth approximately $2.5bn. The deal strengthens its customer engagement portfolio and workforce optimisation suite.
Moy Park has been sold to the US food firm Pilgrim’s Pride for £1bn. Headquartered in Craigavon, Moy Park is a top 10 food company in the UK and one of Northern Ireland’s biggest employers. It has been sold by Brazil’s JBS, which has recently been hit with scandal after its controlling shareholders Wesley and Joesley Batista admitted to bribing 1,893 politicians over the past decade. Pilgrim’s Pride is headquartered in Colorado and is one of the largest poultry producers in the world.
The Gym Group (TGG) has announced that it has acquired 18 gyms from Lifestyle Fitness for £20.5m. TGG is the second largest business in the low cost gym market with 98 sites. The 18 sites it has acquired are mainly based in the Midlands and North of England, and 10 of these will be immediately converted to its The Gym brand. Each conversion is expected to cost £450,000, while the eight remaining sites will receive £110,000 of initial investment with the potential to convert later down the line.
Mid-market private equity investor LDC has backed an MBO at Stuart Turner, a water pump manufacturer based in Oxfordshire. Founded in 1906, Stuart Turner has a reputation for high-quality products for the commercial and domestic markets, including a patented solution for mains water pressure issues. The company will use the investment to accelerate its buy-and-build strategy, targeting further growth in the commercial pumps sector as well as overseas.
Blackpool Council has signed a £4.25m deal to buy Blackpool Airport back from Balfour Beatty. The agreement gives the council full control of the operating company Regional and City Airports (Blackpool) Holdings Ltd, bringing the company back into public ownership for the first time in 13 years. Blackpool Airport went into administration in 2014, closing briefly before reopening with reduced capacity. Blackpool Council does not envisage the return of passenger planes to the airport, but will seek to safeguard the helicopter and other commercial airside activities it facilitates, as well as 30 jobs.
KK Fine Foods has received investment from Belgium’s Ter Beke Food Group. The agreement allows KK Fine Foods to expand its supply of frozen ready meals and food solutions to the foodservice and retail markets, as well as add an additional £40m of capacity to the business with the design and build of a new 60,000 sq ft manufacturing site over the next two years. In return, the deal eases Ter Beke’s entry into the UK market with its own ready meal range.
A management buyout at Scientific and Chemical Supplies (SciChem) has been led by CEO Paul Gill, with backing from Rcapital. SciChem employs 90 people and has sites in Aberdeen, Cork and Wolverhampton. SciChem is a market leading distributor of scientific and laboratory equipment to the education and industrial sectors in the UK and overseas.
Pitney Bowes has agreed to buy Newgistics, a Texas-based provider of parcel delivery, returns, fulfilment and e-commerce solutions, for a sum of around $475m. The company is a workshare partner of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and processes nearly 100m parcels annually. The acquisition will accelerate Pitney Bowes’ expansion into the US domestic parcels market at scale, enabling the company to deliver a broad e-commerce and parcel management service to retailers, SMBs and enterprise clients alike.
Motor Fuel Group has further grown its network of forecourts with the purchase of four stations each from FW Kerridge and Burns & Co. MFG has also lined up a deal for nine stations from Manor Service Stations, which is expected to be completed in early October. These acquisitions are a continuation of a proactive M&A policy since the company completed a half-a-billion-pound MBO in 2015.