Electric Business

A brief summary of business news to keep you informed on company start-ups, corporate downsizing and mergers and acquisitions.

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Multiyork in administration

The furniture retailer Multiyork has gone into administration. The 39-year-old company employs 547 people in 50 shops and at its manufacturing site in Norfolk. The business continues to trade while administrators search for a buyer.

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Groupe Eurotunnel rebrands as ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Getlink

Groupe Eurotunnel has announced that it is changing its name to Getlink. The rationale behind the name change is said to lie in the company now owning three main commercial brands beyond the channel tunnel, these being Europorte, ElecLink and CIFFCO. In a statement, French chief executive Jacques Gounon has said “Getlink is all that is Eurotunnel and more than just Eurotunnel!” The company’s new ‘Anglo-Saxon’ identity has been read as preparation for a post-Brexit future, causing consternation in some quarters.

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Annuity Management combines Support Warehouse and Tesedi

Following its sale to Annuity Management AG, Support Warehouse is to be combined with AMAG subsidiary Tesedi. The deal enables AMAG to provide a fully-integrated, end-to-end service for the management, renewal and recovery of service and maintenance contracts. The group hopes to profit from Support Warehouse’s 15 year relationship with HPE and its position as the official Renew Reminder Service for HP Technical Services in several leading markets worldwide. The combined business will serve around 10,000 customers in 15 countries.

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Urban Digital Network director buys 200 digital screens

Vincent Whelan, the managing director of Urban Digital Network, has acquired a network of 200 Adpod D6 screens in 53 shopping malls across the UK. The deal will expand the company’s footprint in the UK which already includes the iconic outdoor digital screen adjacent to Cineworld cinema in Leicester Square. Whelan is also managing director of Adtower’s digital media business in Ireland.

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Investoo buys Bitcoinmag.de

Just a fortnight on from securing a new £7.5m credit line, Investoo Group has announced the acquisition of cryptocurrency portal Bitcoinmag.de. The German website is a resource for crypto investors, providing purchase and price information, and allowing visitors to compare exchanges and platforms. This addition broadens Investoo’s international reach, which already encompasses French, German, Italian and Spanish audiences. This deal is the latest in a line of acquisitions Investoo has completed this year, which includes moves for Invezz.com, RoboAdvisors.com and SocialTradingGuru.com.

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Vp acquires Brandon Hire

Vp plc has capped a busy year in the M&A market with the purchase of Brandon Hire Group Holdings. Vp has acquired Brandon Hire and its subsidiaries for a cash consideration of £41.6m and £27.2m of assumed net debt, which has been funded from new banking facilities from the group’s lenders. Brandon Hire is a major national tool and equipment hire business with over 900 employees posted across 143 locations nationwide. Brandon Hire’s extensive customer base, primarily focused in SMEs, complements Vp’s own specialist tool hire business Hire Station.

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SSE and npower test regulators with proposed merger

SSE plc has reached an agreement with Innogy regarding a proposed demerger of SSE’s household energy and services business in Great Britain (SSE Retail) and combination with npower. The merger would create a company serving around 11.5 million customer across Great Britain, and shrink the big six to a big five. Causing controversy in some quarters, the deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close late in 2018.

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Powerstar buys Bromsgrove Winding Services

Powerstar, a market leading voltage optimisation and energy storage brand, has acquired Bromsgrove Winding Services, a bespoke manufacturer of OEM power and distribution transformers. This move enables Powerstar to futureproof against major reforms upcoming in the energy industry.

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Peppermint Soda brings Forever Creative into the mix

Peppermint Soda, a Manchester-based marketing communications agency, has bought creative consultancy Forever Creative for an undisclosed fee. The deal is Peppermint’s first acquisition, designed to strengthen its digital, design and creative offering to the education, food, healthcare, manufacturing and public sectors. Forever’s team will join Peppermint at its Hale headquarters, with MD Jane Hudson becoming client services director.

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Concept Life Sciences acquires University of Edinburgh spin-out

Aquila BioMedical has been acquired by private equity-backed drug development and analytical services company Concept Life Sciences. Spun out of the University of Edinburgh, Aquila is a pre-clinical contract research business specialising in immuno-oncology, immunology and multiplex histology. Aquila expects to profit from Concept’s size and business development network as it seeks further growth.

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