Bradford business Panda Engineering has been acquired by Batley management consultancy kadops. Panda is a precision machining and fabrication workshop, employing 14 people. Traditionally the business has served local food and construction clients, but kadops aims to explore other markets such as hydraulics and oil and gas.
Finn Partners has bought London-based financial services PR specialist Moorgate Communications. Moorgate has a 16-strong team and generates around £1.3m in revenue each year. Its client list includes Deutsche Bank, Natixis, S&P Global and UniCredit.
Cardano has agreed to buy UK defined contribution pensions provider NOW: Pensions from ATP. NOW: Pensions the third largest auto-enrolment provider in the UK, with over 1.7 million savers and £1bn of assets under management.
Canadian multinational Saputo has agreed to buy British cheese and butter producer Dairy Crest for £975m. The maker of Cathedral cheddar and Clover margarine has seven locations and more than 1,100 employees across the UK. Saputo is one of the top 10 largest dairy companies in the world, but does not currently have any operations in the UK. The deal will see no immediate change to Dairy Crest’s management team or dairy farmer suppliers in Devon and Cornwall.
Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired Manchester-based creative agency BJL for an undisclosed sum. BJL specialises in brand strategy, advertising, content production, PR, social media and CRM, and will build on Dentsu’s reputation in media, digital, data and technology. BJL employs 75 staff and caters to a mix of B2B and B2C clients including Hilton, The Co-operative Bank and Ronseal. It reported £7.1m turnover in the financial year to June 2017.
Fast-growing firm QBS Group has acquired French software distributor Siener Informatique. QBS is a £39m-turnover distribution company which represents nearly 8,000 software publishers, including OpenText, Kaspersky, JetBrains and ManageEngine. Siener Informatique has 25 publishers and almost 1,000 resellers.
Unilever has acquired Graze, the UK’s leading healthy snacking brand. Founded in 2008, Graze provides nuts, seeds, trail mixes and snack bars, using zero artificial ingredients. Beginning with a subscription service for ‘Graze Boxes’, it has grown into a multichannel business with products available via retail stores, e-commerce and direct to consumer. Graze reported revenues of £52.8m with gross profit of £23m in the year to February 2018.
Southern pub operator Redcomb Pubs has been sold to brewers Young’s for £34m. With 15 sites across London, the Home Counties and the south-west, Redcomb boosts Young’s managed houses portfolio to 200 and its pub estate, accounted for in the Ram Pub Company, to 270. Redcomb reported £16.7m turnover for the year to 30 June 2018.
Cross border financial services firm STM Group has completed its £400k takeover of Carey Administration Holdings. The acquired firm owns 70% of Carey Pensions UK, which offers SIPP administration products to the UK market, and 80% of Carey Corporate Pensions UK, which offers auto-enrolment workplace pensions solutions to SMEs in the UK. The minority shareholdings in both firms are held by Carey Pensions’ managing director Christine Hallett.
Business Talent Group has announced the acquisition of Hillgate, a UK-based online talent marketplace. The transaction expands the Los Angeles-based firm’s international footprint and sees the launch of BTG Europe. Combining its proprietary technology platform, data, compliance capabilities and customer success process with Hillgate, BTG Europe hopes to accelerate growth and scale rapidly in Europe with a focus on high-end, on-demand consultants.