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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Fishawack acquires 2e Creative

Acquisitive healthcare communications firm Fishawack has made a fourth acquisition in 12 months with a deal for 2e Creative, based in Indiana. 2e is described as a ‘launch and growth agency’ and counts Fortune 50 companies from the pharma, medtech and research biotech sectors among its clients. LDC-backed Fishawack reported £47.1m turnover for the financial year ended 31 March 2018.

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Winburn Glass Norfolk to merge with Murray Harcourt

Leeds-based business advisory and accountancy firm Winburn Glass Norfolk and Murray Harcourt have agreed to merge. It will be incorporated into the Murray Harcourt brand.

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Victoria in talks with Ibero Porcelánico

Flooring group Victoria has announced that it is in talks to acquire Spanish ceramics manufacturer Ibero Porcelánico. In July, Victoria refinanced through an offer of £300m in secured notes, aiming to fix its debt until 2024 in support of operational flexibility and its long-term growth plans. The move saw shares drop 35% in two days, wiping £260m of the Kidderminster firm’s market value. It has since revealed growth in underlying earnings and revenues up 35% to £574m in its accounts for the year ended 30 March 2019. Victoria has made decisive strides into mainland Europe in recent years, with most of its business now based overseas. It acquired Spanish tiling group Saloni in August 2018.

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Greene King acquired by Hong Kong investor

CK Asset Holdings, the property investment firm owned by Hong Kong billionaire Victor Li, has struck a multi-billion pound deal for Greene King, the UK’s biggest listed pubs and brewery group. Taking advantage of the weak pound, CK Assets has offered 850p per share for the 220-year-old business, valuing it at £4.6bn minus debt. CK Assets has said it is relaxed by the economic prospects for the UK ahead of its scheduled departure from the EU, choosing instead to take a long-term view of British consumer spending. Faced with changing consumer trends, such as young people drinking less and competition from cheap supermarket drinks, pub chains have sought consolidation in recent years, with Stonegate buying Ei Group for £3bn last month and Heineken taking over Punch Taverns in 2017.

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Power Installations completes MBO

Power Installations has undergone an MBO, with backing from EV SME Loans. A team of 11 in Nantwich, Power Installations provides specialist cable jointing services to electricity distribution networks.

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Aptean to buy Sanderson Group for £90.1m

Aptean has offered £90.1m for UK retail and manufacturing software developer Sanderson Group. Controlled by TA Associates and Vista Equity Partners, Aptean is a US enterprise solutions firm and has offered a premium of 9.8% on Sanderson’s last closing price. The deal will provide Aptean with an entry point to the UK and the rest of Europe.

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92 jobs saved at Nicholl Food Packaging

92 jobs have been saved at Nicholl Food Packaging, following its purchase from administration by Coppice Alupack. A subsidiary of Euro Packaging Group, Coppice is a manufacturer and supplier of aluminium foil containers. Established in 1989, Nicholl is headquartered in Cannock and supplies the food distribution and processing industry with similar foil products. It reported £1.4m profit on revenues of £24.2m for the year to March 2018.

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Stax Trade Centres acquires MP Smith

Stax Trade Centres has acquired hardware and ironmongery manufacturer MP Smith and Co for an undisclosed sum. The Brighouse-owned firm has been a supplier to Stax for years. Stax Trade Centres is based in Worsley, Manchester, and reported turnover of £118.6m for the financial year to September 2018.

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Veincentre poised to expand following withdrawal of NHS funding

Marking the fourth investment from its £100m Impact fund, Palatine Private Equity has sealed a deal with Stoke-on-Trent based clinic Veincentre. Following the withdrawal of NHS funding for varicose vein sufferers, Veincentre will continue nationwide expansion with new clinics in Glasgow and Leeds later this year. It plans to open two new centres a year.

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Hire purpose: online outfit rental firm acquires rival

Manchester-based online fashion hire firm Hire That Look has been acquired by rival HireStreet for an undisclosed sum. Launched a year ago by 26 year old investment banker Isabella West, HireStreet lets customers hire outfits for four to 16 days before they are returned.

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