Metals Testing Company acquired by Element

Element Materials Technology has reached an agreement to acquire Metals Testing Company, a provider of non-destructive testing (NDT) services and related chemical processing based in the US. MTC primarily serves the aerospace industry, with a unique service focused on titanium critical rotating parts. Element is a world leader in aerospace testing services with 44 dedicated laboratories in the Americas and Europe, including an NDT facility in Sheffield.

Digital ID acquires The Smart Card Store

South Manchester-based ID card company Digital ID has acquired The Smart Card Store. Established in 2006, The Smart Card Store supplies smart ID cards to a number of large clients in the UK, including BP, Dixons, McDonalds, Microsoft, the NHS and Tesco. The business will retain its team and office in Hove.

EasyJet takes over Air Berlin assets

EasyJet has confirmed that it has acquired the operations of Air Berlin at Berlin Tegel Airport. The deal encompasses leases for 25 aircraft, as well as an offer of employment to Air Berlin’s flying crew. Adding to its existing base at Berlin Schönefeld, the acquisition makes easyJet the leading airline to and from Berlin.

Management complete buyout of TheBusinessDesk.com

TheBusinessDesk.com has had its own M&A news to report this week with the announcement that group editor Alex Turner and commercial director Lee-J Walker have completed a buyout of the website’s owner, Regional Media Services. Entrepeneur Mark Hales, who bought the business in 2013, has retained a minority stake but steps back from day-to-day involvement.

Barnsley FC announces new owners

The owners of Barnsley FC, the Cryne Family, have announced that the club has agreed to a takeover by a consortium led by Chien Lee of NewCity Capital and Pacific Media Group owners Grace Hung and Paul Conway. The club’s new majority shareholders also lead a group which purchased 80% of OGC Nice in June 2016; in their first year in charge, the club finished 3rd in France’s Ligue 1 and qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in its history. Moneyball pioneer Billy Beane is also investing in the club. The Tykes are currently struggling in the Championship, placed 20th.

Speedy Hire boosted by access platform acquisitions

Speedy Hire has spent over £21m on the acquisition of two specialist access platform companies, Prolift Access and Platform Sales & Hire. Headquartered in Taunton, Prolift manages a fleet of approximately 770 access platforms and employs 72 people, while PSHL is based in the Midlands and manages 850 access platforms with a workforce of 64 people. The two companies recorded turnovers of £7.9m and £9.3m respectively in the last financial year.

Sedgwick to acquire Cunningham Lindsey

Sedgwick Claims Management Services has agreed to buy Cunningham Lindsey, a global loss adjusting, claims management and risk solutions firm. Cunningham Lindsey provides support to businesses, insurance companies, brokers and policyholders covering all aspects of the risk management lifecycle, including pre- and post- loss. The business employs 6,000 people across 600 offices in 60 countries worldwide.

Unilever sells household names to KKR for £6bn

Unilever is selling its margarine and spreads business, including brands Flora, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Stork, to private equity giant KKR. The £6bn sale follows a wide-ranging internal review prompted by a failed takeover attempt by rival Kraft earlier in the year. KKR has said that it will utilise its global network and operational expertise to help the business grow while remaining committed to Unilever’s responsible sourcing policies, including the goal of using 100% sustainable palm oil by 2019. The deal is expected to close mid-2018.

Tanat-Jones finds new home with Brand Vaughan

Brand Vaughan has acquired fellow Brighton & Hove estate agents Tanat-Jones & Company. Established in 1989, Tanat-Jones is one of the city’s oldest independent agencies.

Sound Technology bought by Midwich Group

Sound Technology, a leading UK distributor of musical instruments, professional audio and lighting equipment, has been bought by Midwich Group. Midwich Group provides AV, professional video, broadcast, and lighting equipment to the trade markets, operating across nine countries in Europe and Australasia. Sound Technology will continue to operate from its office in Letchworth Garden City, retaining its workforce and market approach.