Shaw Trust takes over Prospects Group

National charity Shaw Trust has acquired Prospects Group, a £90m turnover provider of skills, education, care and support in sectors ranging from children’s services and justice to education and employment. Combined, the group will have a workforce of over 3,200 staff and a turnover of £250m.

Toys “R” Us to close 26 UK stores

Toys “R” Us plans to close 26 of its UK stores as part of a restructuring plan. The closures will begin in spring 2018 and will result in the loss of 800 jobs. The loss-making company says that the warehouse-style stores it opened in the 1980s and 1990s are too big and expensive to run in the current retail climate. In future it will focus on smaller interactive stores and its website.

AFH Financial Group buys J W Wealthcare

AFH Financial Group has continued a recent acquisitions spree with the purchase of J W Wealthcare, an advisory business based in the South East. The deal adds approximately £300,000 of recurring revenue to the business and sees head of the firm John Walpole join AFH as an adviser.

iomart acquires web hosting firm Sonassi for £16.5m

Sonassi has been bought by AIM-listed cloud services specialist iomart for £16.5m. Sonassi delivers high performance, secure and scalable solutions for complex, high traffic websites using Magento and Oro technology. Founded in 2008, Sonassi originally built websites based on the Magento eCommerce application but has since developed its own operating system called MageStack, engineered specifically for Magento and OroCommerce.

Cineworld considering £2.7bn move for Regal Entertainment

Cineworld has announced that is looking into a potential £2.7bn deal with the second largest cinema chain in the US, Regal Entertainment. The United States remains the world’s largest cinema market, although China is expected to overtake it in the next couple of years.

DPA Microphones makes sound investment

DPA Microphones has bought Sound Network, a UK-based pro audio distributor with whom it has worked for 20 years. DPA’s decision to buy Sound Network was prompted by the retirement of founders Pete Wandless and Ralph Dunlop. The company’s workforce will remain otherwise unchanged, as will its distribution arrangements with manufacturers that include Meris and Sony Pro Audio.

CH&Co and Concerto Group announce merger

CH&Co Group has announced that it is to merge with event caterer Concerto Group. Following its acquisition of Harbour & Jones in June, this latest deal lifts CH&Co’s turnover above the £300m mark, and means it will now provide catering at 750 sites and employ more than 6,200 people across the UK and Ireland. Concerto currently runs contracts at venues including Old Billingsgate in London and the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool, as well as managing food and drink at Apex Hotels London. Chief executive Adam Elliott will continue to run the business.