The BBC and ITV have announced they are to launch a new streaming service, BritBox, towards the end of 2019. The service, which will cost £5.99 per month, will make thousands of hours of well known classic British TV available to view on demand, including shows like Gavin & Stacey, Benidorm and The Office. In addition BritBox will commission some original programming. ITV will initially own 90% of the joint venture but the BBC has the option to increase its stake to 25%. BritBox is the latest entrant into the competitive and fast changing streaming video on demand market, with Disney and Apple also preparing to launch services to challenge Netflix and Amazon. Netflix, the biggest streaming service in the world with more than 150m subscribers around the world, recently announced slower than expected growth figures as it struggles to cope with losing content (for example the Disney-owned Marvel TV shows such as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage) to rivals launching their own services.
Southampton-headquartered commercial vehicle dealer Adams Morey has been acquired by West Midlands counterpart Greenhous Group. Adams Morey has 300 staff and eight sites, and will continue to operate under its current name. Greenhous is one of the largest private businesses in the West Midlands, with 1,000 employees and revenues of £1.1bn in 2018.
International air movement, filtration and distribution specialist Elta Group has strengthened its position in Australasia with the acquisition of Smooth Air. A leading ventilation firm in New Zealand, Smooth Air has more than 85 staff located in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
Enact, the £30m SME fund managed by Endless, has backed the management buyout of Yorkshire engineering business Qualter Hall & Company from Waagner-Biro. Founded in 1860, Qualter Hall employs 120 people and is headquartered in Barnsley. Its landmark projects include the Scale Lane Bridge on the River Humber, a moving bascule bridge in Indonesia, and ongoing work on the Thames Barrier.
Digital current account provider U Account has been acquired by Morses Club. The deal includes U Account’s technology and e-money banking platform, which Morses will utilise as it rolls out its online current account.
United Carlton, a reseller of managed print services, has been bought by DMC Canotec. The acquisition is DMC Canotec’s fifth in six years and strengthens its position in the North of England. Established in 1991, DMC Canotec is a provider of managed print services and document management systems.
Safeguard Software, a provider of record management software for schools, has been taken over by Smoothwall. Based in Leeds, Smoothwall provides web security software and services for business, education and government worldwide.
The private equity firm NorthEdge Capital has backed the management buyout of Phoebus Software, a loans and management systems provider. The deal will see company founders Robert Lintonbon and Peter Pontefract leave the business.
Bus operator First Manchester has announced plans to sell off 18 services to West Midlands-based Rotala. Including the Bolton bus depot, the £5.3m deal will see the transfer of 500 employees and makes Rotala the second biggest player in the Manchester market. First will be left with only the Oldham depot as its operating hub.
Trammell Crow Company, a subsidiary of real estate giant CBRE, has announced plans to buy Telford Homes for £267.4m. Telford Homes has a current development portfolio with a total project cost of £1.32bn. The deal will see Telford accelerate growth in the build-to-rent / multi-family market in London. Telford generated £354m in revenue and £40m in pre-tax profit for the last financial year.