Salvage and recycling company Synetiq, which was formed through a four-way merger earlier this year, has acquired Motorman, a remanufacturer and supplier of engines, transmissions and drive train products. The deal strengthens Synetiq’s proposition as an innovative provider of solutions to the parts, salvage and fleet market.
WH Smith has agreed to buy Marshall Retail for $400m. The takeover will double the iconic British retailer’s presence in the international travel sector, and strengthen its status in the $3bn US Airport market. While WH Smith continues to struggle on the high street, its travel division delivered a 22% rise in sales last year.
Professional services giant Accenture has acquired UK consultancy Happen for an undisclosed fee. Happen specialises in advisory work relating to innovation and idea generation. Accenture has made several acquisitions in this area in recent years, with a deal for UK firm ?What if! in March. Happen is headquartered in London with additional offices in Amsterdam and New Jersey. Its offering covers strategy, design, ideation, insight and research.
Sophos, a global leader in cloud-enabled cybersecurity, has accepted a $3.9bn (£3.1bn) offer from private equity firm Thoma Bravo. The news has seen Sophos shares jump 37% in line with the bid’s terms. A FTSE 250 firm based in Abingdon, Sophos was instrumental in assisting the NHS and other businesses affected by the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017. It floated at a value of £1bn in 2015, one of largest technology IPOs in the UK that year.
Manchester-based social media agency Social Chain has completed a merger with German beanbag retailer Lumaland to create a unified advertising firm. The unconventional move creates a group with a combined value of €186m (£161m). Social Chain will be expected to continue to grow its external brand revenue.
Hull-based online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum has been bought by Endless, after its owners TPG called time on its unsuccessful investment. TPG spent £200m on the business, then known as Victoria Plumb, in 2014, but struggled to turn a profit since. Its most recent accounts show it broke even on sales of £63m in the year to February 2018. Details of the deal have not been disclosed, however Endless’s Fund IV stipulates that it can pay no more than £80m in a single transaction.
Fintech firm Ebury has announced an acquisition of Frontierpay, an international payroll payments provider with offices in the UK and Singapore. Founded in 2009, Frontierpay delivers payroll payments across 180 countries. The deal will expand Ebury’s capabilities in technologies that automate international payments for SMEs. Ebury employs c. 1,000 staff across 25 offices in 20 countries, and serving c. 40,000 businesses.
Bonmarché has fallen into administration, putting some 2,900 jobs at risk. The announcement comes with news from the British Retail Consortium that 85,000 UK jobs have been cut in the sector in the past year. Bonmarché was bought by Philip Day, the owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, earlier this year, after issuing a third consecutive profit warning in March. Upon completion, Day announced plans to delist from the London Stock Exchange and conduct viability assessments at the company’s underperforming stores. Bonmarché has 318 shops at the time of writing.
QuickQuid UK, the UK’s largest payday lender, is to close, with thousands of complaints about its lending unresolved. The firm’s US owner Enova has stated that it will leave the UK market “due to regulatory uncertainty.” It follows in the footsteps of Wonga, which closed in August 2018, and The Money Shop, which went under earlier this year. Casheuronet UK, QuickQuid’s owner, had net income of £12.3m on revenue of £83.3m in the year to November 2017.
Challenger brand Green Star Energy has been scooped up by Shell Energy, pending regulatory approval. Its 200,000 customers will continue to use 100% renewable energy.