International distribution and outsourcing business Bunzl has acquired Aggora Group. Aggora Group designs, supplies, installs and maintains commercial catering equipment for use in a range of end markets in the UK. The company recorded a turnover of £27m in the last financial year.
Salford Red Devils, the Super League rugby club, has been taken over by a consortium of its supporters. The deal sees the end of Marwan Koukash’s eventful five-year tenure as owner, during which the club’s name changed from Salford City Reds. The club’s four new board members are Ideal Corporate Solutions owner Andrew Rosler, A-Plant marketing director Asif Latief, Hannah Fendall, senior associate at Williamson & Croft, and Dawn Fidler, the CEO and founder of The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity. With the change of ownership Salford is considering buying the AJ Bell stadium, which it shares with rugby union club Sale Sharks. Opened in 2012 thanks to an initial £22m loan from Salford City Council, the AJ Bell stadium is owned by City of Salford Community Stadium Ltd and was built to replace Salford’s previous stadium of 110 years The Willows.
Sytner Group, part of Penske Automotive Group, has completed the acquisition of The Car People, a move that nearly doubles its used vehicle supermarket division. The Car People employs just under 600 people and operates from four retail locations in Manchester, Sheffield, Wakefield and Warrington. The business sells approximately 18,000 vehicles generating a turnover of around £225m per year. The deal expands upon Sytner’s takeover of CarShop 12 months earlier.
Popcorn maker Savoury & Sweet has been bought by Burts Potato Chips. Burts has seen significant growth in the last five years, taking revenues of £11.4m to an anticipated £37m post-acquisition. The company has invested over £12m in the last five years, and hopes to make further acquisitions to drive revenues over the £100m mark in the forthcoming five. The deal includes Savoury & Sweet’s 6,596m² production facility in Leicester, as well as all 99 of its staff. The business will be rebranded as Burts Snacks.
Northgate Public Services, a leading software and services provider to the public sector in the UK and Australia, has been acquired by Japanese company NEC Corporation. The £475m deal will provide NEC with a platform to sell biometrics and AI technology to the UK public sector, for application in areas such as citizen access and smart cities. NPS has provided services to 95% of public authorities, and is currently completing substantial contracts with Richmond and Wandsworth Councils and West Midlands Police.
US beer giant Molson Coors has acquired Aspall, one of the UK’s top-selling premium ciders. Aspall was founded in 1728 by Clement Chevallier and continues to be run by the eighth generation of his family. With this deal, Molson Coors has committed to investing in Aspall’s Suffolk operation, from which it has been solely based for nearly 300 years. Cider is a fast-growing category; between 2010 and 2015, the total cider market increased in value by 25%, and the volume of cider sold by Aspall in 2016 increased by a tenth. The UK accounts for 45% of the cider world market. Apart from drinks, Aspall also produces leading specialty vinegars.
Answering services provider Moneypenny has expanded its offering with the acquisition of MadeSimple Group, a provider of business products and services to start-ups and small businesses. MadeSimple provides a suite of online solutions that include virtual offices, company formation and website creation, as well as a co-working space in central London. In 15 years MadeSimple has helped form more than 650,000 companies. Its team of 45 will continue to work in London.
Sanderson Group has bought ERP solutions provider Anisa Holdings for £12m. Anisa employs 90 people in offices in London, Runcorn, Liverpool and Solihull as well as Singapore and Australia, providing round-the-clock supply chain support to over 250 companies. Its acquisition complements Sanderson’s enterprise division, as well as allowing it to expand its delivery options with Anisa’s managed, hosting and cloud delivery services.
Independent insurance and reinsurance legacy specialist Compre Group has acquired the UK non-life run-off portfolio of Assicurazioni Generali. The Italian insurance giant has sought to streamline its operations and optimise capital allocation by offloading its UK business in what has been described as a highly competitive tendering process. The portfolio, totaling €300m of liabilities, comprises APH and some UK Employers Liability business, which have been in run-off since the early 2000s. The deal is Compre’s eighth and largest acquisition of 2017.
Brenntag has made a double swoop in the UK food ingredients distribution sector with deals for A1 Cake Mixes and Kluman & Balter. The companies provide value-added services for the bakery supply chain that complement Brenntag’s offering, which includes new product development, technical competence and support informed by insight into market requirements and trends. The business is expected to generate total sales of approximately £77.5m in the financial year 2017.