Unilever has agreed to buy The Vegetarian Butcher, a producer of plant-based meat-imitation foods, for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2007 by ninth-generation meat farmer turned vegetarian Jaap Kortewag, The Vegetarian Butcher employs c. 90 people and sells its products in over 4,000 outlets in 17 countries worldwide.
Dechra Pharmaceuticals has increased its presence in the South American market with the acquisition of Laboratorios Vencofarma do Brasil (Venco), a manufacturer of vaccines and related products. The £37.5m deal, initially announced in October, gives Dechra access to a portfolio of over 200 product registrations.
UK tools, equipment and plant hire services company Speedy has agreed to buy Geason Holdings for £9m in cash with a further £26m available depending on performance three years post-acquisition. Headquartered in Glasgow, Geason provides construction and professional services training across the UK, with more than 1,100 apprentices and 500 NVQ learners currently on programmes. It reported revenue of £8.3m in the 12 months to October 2018.
Ossett Brewery has sold a 50% stake to a private investor. The brewer and pub company operator has 26 retail sites, including 19 traditional pubs and restaurants and four live music bars trading as The HOP. The deal sees software entrepreneur Mark Hunter become co-owner of the company. Hunter will take a seat on its board but play no part in its day-to-day operations.
Limerston Capital has bought Prism Medical from the private equity firm LDC. Prism manufactures moving, handling and bathing equipment for the elderly and disabled. It has seen revenues increase by 50% since LDC backed a management buyout in 2014.
Cable assembly supplier Volex has acquired GTK, a UK electronics manufacturer, for £14.3m. Headquartered in Basingstoke, GTK produces cable assemblies, displays and connectors and has operations in the UK, Romania and Taiwan. It has more than 300 active customers and has seen revenue improve by nearly 50% in the last three years. The deal sees the return of a Volex manufacturing operation to the UK after a hiatus of more than 10 years. Volex also bought Silcotec Europe in May.
Healthcare communications specialist Fishawack Group has bought creative consultancy Blue Latitude Health. With offices in London and New York, Blue Latitude offers business insight, strategy, customer experience and creative solutions to pharma and biotech clients. The deal is Fishawack’s third acquisition in just over a year. LDC backed its management team in a buyout in January 2017.
Landscaping manufacturer Marshalls plc has bought concrete brick manufacturer Edenhall Holdings for £11.8m. The acquisition is in line with Marshalls’ new build strategy, enabling it to offer a greater product choice with access to Edenhall’s spectrum of coloured and textured facing bricks and specials. Edenhall employs approximately 250 people, turns over £33m and has 10 manufacturing facilities nationwide.
French food services giant Sodexo has strengthened its UK education business with the acquisition of Alliance in Partnership. AiP is an education caterer which includes The Contract Dining Company and Class Catering Services. It has a client base of 418 schools and employs 1,500 people. Turnover for the 2017-18 financial year grew 17.4% to £25.9m.
London-based asset management consultancy MJ Hudson has bought Amaces, a data and analytics firm. The acquisition expands its client base to over 700 managers, pension funds and other asset owners that collectively manage more than £7.8tn of assets. It provides MJ Hudson with an established operational and commercial presence in the US and Canadian markets, while also broadening its service offering. Amaces provides a subscription-led data and analytics service to more than 100 fund managers, pension funds and endowments.