Scottish timber processing and distribution company Thornbridge has merged with North Yorkshire Timber with backing from Cairngorm Capital Partners. Established in 1979, NYTimber is one of the largest independent timber merchants in the North East of England. It has a dedicated 120,000 sq ft design, manufacturing and distribution centre in Brompton-on-Swale and is supported by seven branch outlets. In 2017, NYTimber had revenues of over £18m and employed over 200 staff. The deal gives Thornbridge access to NYTimber’s specialist roofing solutions division, expanding its product offering. The enlarged group will have 15 branches across the UK, generating revenues of over £50m and employing over 360 people.
Encore Envelopes has acquired Leeds manufacturer Great Northern Envelope Company (GNE) out of administration, protecting 129 jobs. GNE will continue to trade under the same name following the deal.
AIM-listed research and development firm Plant Impact has been bought by Croda Europe in a £10m deal. Croda is a global chemicals and ingredients producer for some of the world’s biggest consumer brands. Plant Impact specialises in crop enhancement products that improve crop yield and quality.
Reconomy has completed the takeover of waste management broker Waste Check, expanding its national footprint and coverage of sectors. Based in Bromsgrove, Waste Check specialises in the compliant disposal of clinical and chemical waste materials for businesses operating in sectors including healthcare, retail and care homes. Reconomy provides waste management services across housebuilding, commercial construction and infrastructure, managing over 3m tonnes of waste in 2017 with 93% of this directed away from landfill. This latest acquisition follows a flurry of recent M&A activity by the company, which is predicting revenues of £135m by the end of 2018.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has acquired men’s tailoring business Berwin & Berwin out of administration, securing the jobs of 800 employees. The deal includes the Lambretta, Paul Costelloe and Baumler brands, 36 menswear concessions and outlets, and all existing stock. Berwin & Berwin will open a further five menswear concessions in 2018 and its brands will be stocked in EWM Group’s Days Department Stores and other outlets within the group.
Sky has maintained its position as the main broadcaster of Premier League football in the UK following the announcement that it has won the right to show 128 games per season through to the end of the 2021/22 campaign. Sky will pay £1,193 million per season for the exclusive rights to show live Premier League football in the highest rating slots, including Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday double headers and Monday night football. BT will screen one game per week at Saturday lunchtime, although this might increase when the midweek packages of games are sold. Sky is paying 16% less per game compared to its current arrangement, making it unlikely that the Premier League will raise as much money as it did for the 2016-19 UK rights, although it will hope international rights continue to rise in value.
Digital communications specialist Next 15 has announced the acquisition of Brandwidth Group for up to £10.3m. The UK-based ‘innovation agency’ caters to clients including Apple, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Toyota and Vodafone. Next 15 has cited Brandwidth’s expertise in voice-activated marketing, as applied through platforms such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, as a particular draw.
ComfortDelGro Corporation has moved to expand its UK bus and coach operations with the acquisition of New Adventure Travel. NAT Group is a leading bus and coach operator in South Wales, managing a fleet of 117 buses and coaches across four depots in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Pontypridd. The £13.4m acquisition is Comfort’s first outside of London, where its subsidiary Metroline operates a fleet of some 1,700 buses.
Swedish lock manufacturer ASSA ABLOY has acquired Progress Venture Group, the owner of Dale Hardware and Excel Architectural Hardware. The deal extends the company’s portfolio of architectural hardware products for sale to builder’s merchants in the UK and Middle East markets. Established in 1974, Dale Hardware is headquartered near Leeds and employs approximately 70 people.
American Express Global Business Travel is to acquire Hogg Robinson Group, a global b2b services company specialising in travel management. HRG recently announced that it is selling Fraedom, its payments technology subsidiary, to Visa for £141.8m. Depending on the outcome of this deal, AmEx is to pay between 110p and 120p for each Hogg Robinson share, which values its British rival at between £375m and £410m. The merger of AmEx GBT and HRG brings together the world’s two largest travel management companies. AmEx GBT employs approximately 12,000 employees and has operations in nearly 140 countries worldwide.