US firm CPM Holdings has acquired Proline Engineering, a supplier of high-speed, high-volume conveyancing solutions, installation and aftermarket services for the metal packaging industry. Proline will continue to operate from Manchester with the same management team while leveraging CPM’s global operational base. The deal secures CPM Holdings its fourth facility in the UK.
TRIGO has acquired Bridge Group from its founder Neil Endley. A specialist in supplier turnaround management, training and technical resourcing, Bridge Group will provide TRIGO with a springboard into the automotive, aerospace and heavy transportation industries in the UK. TRIGO is an international provider of quality support and conformity assessment services, employing over 8,000 people worldwide.
Independent planning and buying agency TCS Media has changed ownership with the completion of an MBO. The company’s new owners are managing director David Price, digital director Ciaran Deering and finance director Sean Guthrie. The media agency covers channels ranging from programmatic to TV in-house, serving a number of big clients that include AGA Rangemaster, Laura Ashley and Sudocrem.
Private equity firm Aurelius has acquired Connect Books, a multi-channel wholesaler, distributor and retailer of books with a projected turnover of around €250m for 2017. Considered a non-core asset by Connect Group as it seeks to refocus on its specialist logistics business, Connect Books will rebrand back to Bertram Group following the deal. The business is comprised of six brands, which are Bertram Books, Wordery, Dawson Books, Erasmus, Houtschild and Bertram Library Services.
Blockchain development business Black Cactus Global has announced the acquisition of World on Wireless UK, a provider of white label payment systems and services to banks, financial institutions, remittance companies and retail chains. WOW will continue to develop initiatives in cryptocurrency and blockchain with access to Black Cactus’ substantial portfolio of blockchain IP. WOW’s experienced software development and management team will be retained.
Serviced office provider IWG has confirmed that it has received bids from Canadian private equity firm Onex and Brookfield Asset Management. Since news of these offers reached the press in December IWG’s share price has jumped 30%, making up the fall that resulted from the issue of a profit warning in October.
Insurance giant Zurich has sold student insurance broker Endsleigh to A-Plan Holdings. Endsleigh was established in 1965 by the National Union of Students (NUS). It will continue to operate as a standalone business from its base in Cheltenham.
German agri supplier BayWa AG has expanded in the UK with the acquisition of Premium Crops, which will be integrated with BayWa’s UK subsidiary Cefetra. Premium Crops is a leading specialist crop contracting and supply business focusing on sustainable, traceable and fully risk-managed supply chains for niche oilseeds and grains. The deal enables Cefetra to expand its range of exclusive crop products while demand from the food and feedstuffs industry for specialities is growing. Cefetra supplies over 4 million tonnes of grain and other products to the agriculture sector each year.
Places for People Leisure has exchanged contracts to acquire three Simply Gyms in Chesterfield, Hinckley and Telford, to be run under the Places brand. Places for People Leisure is a social enterprise that works with local authorities to improve opportunities for communities to get physically active. Places for People is one of the largest leisure operators in the UK with a portfolio of over 100 facilities nationwide.
Allianz has completed the acquisition of a 49% stake in Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society’s UK General Insurance business (LV= GI), with a further 20.9% stake lined up to change hands in 2019. Allianz has paid £500m for the initial 49%, with another £213m agreed for the second stage. The Allianz and LV= GI partnership creates the third-largest personal insurer in the UK market, with a large market share in personal home and motor insurance in particular. Altogether, the business will have over £1.7bn annual premium income. The companies hope to profit from the combination of their technical expertise in pricing, underwriting and claims, and accelerated innovation and growth as a result of the combination of their digital capabilities.