China’s Nison Group has bought a majority stake in SieMatic Group, a world-leading manufacturer of premium kitchen furniture. The deal provides the German manufacturer with a direct route to the Asian market, where it sees the potential for growth. Headquartered in Suzhou, Nison Group is a leader in domestic appliances in China and generated global sales topping $900m in 2016. SieMatic has three sites in the UK.
Erskine Murray has acquired its Cheshire-based firm Offley Insurance Services. The move is part of Erskine Murray’s strategy to boost its regional presence across the UK over the next three years. Offley Insurance has a good reputation in the North West and will retain its management team and brand for the short term.
ParkOhio, a US supply chain management specialist, has bought Heads & All Threads, based in Birmingham. Founded in 1986, HAT specialises in developing vendor-managed inventory programs of fasteners, machined parts and other class C components to end markets including automotive, construction and EMS. It has operations in the Czech Republic, India, Poland and the UK.
Totally has entered the UK’s growing urgent care market with the purchase of Vocare for £11m. Vocare provides healthcare services to CCGs across the UK, covering around 9.2 million patients a year; it is responsible for out-of-hours services and the NHS 111 call centres. Vocare’s revenue grew from £32.4m in the year ending March 2015 to £76.8m in March 2017.
Aviva has acquired a majority stake in Wealthify, an automated investment service or ‘robo-advisor’. Aviva will use Wealthify to expand the range of insurance and investment services available to its customers on the digital hub MyAviva. Launched in 2016, Wealthify aims to be an easy to use and low fee digital service to attract millennials and those new to investment. Customers can put money into one of five diversified investment plans through ISAs and general investment accounts. Startups offering robo-advisors have generally struggled to acquire AUM due to current overcrowding in the market and lower than expected uptake. Nevertheless, they are predicted to manage around $1tn of assets by 2020.
MRI Software has acquired Qube Global Software, a leading UK-based provider of property and facilities management solutions. Qube’s property and financial management capabilities include facilities management, integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) and space management solutions, complementing and expanding upon MRI’s existing offering as well as increasing its global reach. The deal closely follows MRI’s acquisition of Real Asset Management in September and grows the group to a team of over 1,000 employees serving 5,500 clients. MRI’s 350 employees in the UK makes it one of the largest property tech providers in the country, and in Europe as a whole.
BAE Systems is to cut almost 2,000 jobs across its UK sites. The company says the job losses are due to a variety of factors, including the winding down of support and sustainment activities at RAF Marham and RAF Leeming following the Government’s decision to take the RAF’s Tornado fleet out of service in 2019, uncertainty over future orders for its Typhoon jets, and the ongoing restructuring of its Applied Intelligence business. In all there are 750 planned redundancies at Warton & Samlesbury in Lancashire, 400 at Brough in East Yorkshire, 245 at RAF Marham & RAF Leeming, 340 at Portsmouth & Solent and 180 at other locations including London and Guildford.
The Hut Group’s acquisitions spree has continued with cosmetics brand Illamasqua. Illamasqua has branded stores located in Leeds, Liverpool and London and its products are stocked in Selfridges and Debenhams in 15 locations across the UK, as well as online. Illamasqua will join THG’s growing beauty category alongside other recent acquisitions ESPA and Glossybox.
The board of Nisa Retail has recommended Co-op Group’s £137.5m takeover offer to its members. If successful, the Co-op would add a 3,200 stores to its portfolio and take on Nisa’s £105m of debt. Nisa would remain a standalone business and brand, but its 1,190 members would be able to benefit from Co-op’s own brand range, as well as have the opportunity to be a part of senior management engagement meetings and apply to become a Co-op franchise. Owned by over 4.5 million members, the Co-op employs 69,000 people, has a turnover of £9.5bn and owns 3,800 outlets across the UK.
Stallergenes Greer has strengthened its presence in North America with the acquisition of Medic Savoure, a specialist in the Canadian allergy immunotherapy (AIT) market. Headquartered in London, Stallergenes Greer is a biopharmaceutical company specialising in treatment for respiratory allergies. Medic Savoure commercialises a full range of AIT products, including Stallergenes’ own since the 1970s, and is licensed to produce individual and customised patient treatments.