YO! Sushi has agreed to buy Canada’s Bento Sushi for £59m. The two firms recorded a combined £175m in sales over the last 12 months, making the group one of the largest sushi companies in the world outside of Japan. Bento Sushi was founded in Toronto in 1996 and is North America’s second largest sushi chain with over 600 restaurants. As well as the 20 million portions it serves each year, Bento also supplies sushi to 1,700 partners, including supermarkets.
British vegetarian meal manufacturer Goodlife Foods has been acquired by Dutch ready meal maker Izico Food Group. This latest acquisition aims to build on the foothold Izico found in the UK market with the purchase of Daloon Foods in 2015. Goodlife Foods has 25 years’ experience producing vegetarian products for both the retail and foodservice channels in the UK.
Vernacare has acquired Synergy Health Healthcare Consumable Solutions (HCS) from STERIS plc for an undisclosed sum. Vernacare is the UK’s market-leading provider of single-use infection prevention systems to the healthcare sector, employing 180 people in the UK and abroad. Its products are sold to more than 50 countries and used by around 94% of NHS Trusts. HCS meanwhile manufactures products for wound care and surgery, as well as hygiene wipes under the market-leading brands of Conti and AZO. HCS will come under the Vernacare brand.
Victoria plc has made a second push into Europe’s hard flooring market in as many months with the takeover of Keraben Group for £246.5m. The Spanish business manufactures branded ceramic floor and wall tiles that it sells to a combination of wholesalers, retail groups, independent stores and DIY chains across mainland Europe, North America and the Far East. As part of the deal, Keraben’s management team are financially incentivised to run and grow the business as part of Victoria for a minimum of three years. This latest acquisition means that the majority of Victoria’s earnings are now generated from outside the UK.
Drug development specialist Quotient Sciences has acquired Pharmaterials, a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO). Founded in 2000, Pharmaterials specialises in small molecule drug products for oral and inhaled delivery which it develops at a 48,000 sq ft facility in Reading. The deal strengthens Quotient Science’s formulation and manufacturing services operations in the UK as well as its new Translational Pharmaceutics platform, formed out of SeaView Research and QS Pharma which it acquired earlier this year.
The P&H Group has collapsed with the immediate loss of 2,500 jobs. The group employed 3,400 people and includes Palmer & Harvey McLane, the UK’s largest delivered wholesaler to the UK convenience market, and P&H Direct, which provided product delivery services to independent retailers and food outlets. Currently 450 employees of the wholesale business have been retained to assist the administrators in managing the activities of the business to an orderly closure. The administrators are continuing to explore options for a sale for other subsidiaries: P&H Direct Van Sales, P&H Sweetdirect and P&H Snacksdirect. Palmer & Harvey was the fifth-largest private company in the UK with almost a century of history.
Following the completion of a management buyout with backing from Mobeus Equity Partners in June, Ludlow Wealth Management Group has acquired Scottish counterpart Whyte Sharp. The deal sees owner Gary Whyte retire while business partner David Watson steps up to run Whyte Sharp’s St Andrews office as a standalone operation. Ludlow Wealth advises clients across the UK and has more than £850m of assets under management.
The furniture retailer Feather & Black has gone into administration, putting 120 jobs at risk. The company has the same owners as Multiyork, which fell into administration last week. The administrators say Feather & Black has been hit by the slowdown in consumer spending and was no longer able to meet its ongoing liabilities. The business will continue to trade while a buyer is sought.
Fishers Laundry Group has been acquired by Canada’s K-Bro Linen for £35m. Fishers employs 800 people across Scotland and the North East of England, providing commercial laundry and textile rental services primarily to the hospitality sector. One of the company’s innovations is a luxury linen range that incorporates radio frequency identification (RFID) tags so it can be tracked, enabling new operational and stock control efficiencies. The company will remain a standalone brand, retaining its management and headquarters in Cupas, Fife.
The owner of Pret a Manger, private equity group Bridgepoint, is set to become the UK master franchisee of Burger King, with exclusive rights to the brand in the UK. With this deal, Bridgepoint enters into a 20 year master franchise agreement that gives it control over the brand’s proposition and the right to roll out new stores across the country. It has also acquired Caspian UK Group, which is one of the UK’s largest franchisees with 74 restaurants. Bridgepoint has backed a management buy-in team headed by chairman designate Martin Robinson, whose experience includes roles with Casual Dining Group, Center Parcs and Wagamama. Burger King is currently the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, and has over 500 restaurants in the UK.