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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Inflation hits five-year high

The rate of inflation rose to a five-year high of 2.9% in August, up from 2.6% in July. The main factors in the increase were the weak pound, the rebound in the oil price and a record increase in the price of clothing and footwear.

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Florette acquires MyFresh Prepared Produce

Prepared salad manufacturer Florette, part of French cooperative Agrial Group, has acquired MyFresh Prepared Produce. Based in Wigan, MyFresh employs 300 people and supplies vegetables and salads to a number of brands and businesses across Europe. The deal will enable Agrial to ramp up its operations in the UK market.

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Warner Music acquires Spinnin’ Records

Warner Music has acquired Spinnin’ Records, a label specialising in EDM based in the Netherlands. The label’s alumni includes the likes of Afrojack, Armand van Helden and Tiësto. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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ICO fines telecoms firm £85,000 for calling TPS-registered numbers

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined True Telecom Ltd £85,000 for making illegal calls. For over two years, the Dartford-based telecoms company called people who were registered on the Telephone Preference Service as well as people who had specifically asked the company not to contact them. Despite a warning from the ICO, the calls continued. Between April 2015 and April 2017, the ICO received 201 complaints. People said the calls were misleading because callers gave the impression they were from BT Openreach and the number was withheld.

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CPA Global bought by Leonard Green & Partners

Private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners has acquired CPA Global from Cinven. CPA Global is a leading IP management and technology company with over 2,000 employees across 12 countries worldwide. It provides an integrated IP platform and technology-enabled solutions for the registration, protection and administration of intellectual property. The deal is reported to be worth £2.4bn.

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Firstnet and Select Data Centres to become Firstnet Group

Leeds-based IT company Firstnet has merged with Select Data Centres in Manchester, creating a new business under the name of Firstnet Group. The deal combines Select’s expertise in data centre design and construction with Firstnet’s reputation for managed IT, cloud, system co-location and workplace recovery services.

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Sharp Electronics Europe buys office equipment reseller Midshire

Sharp Electronics Europe has acquired Midshire Business Systems and Midshire Business Systems (Northern).  Midshire is a office technology reseller with offices in Birmingham, Cardiff and Stockport. It will be operated as part of Sharp Business Solutions UK (SBSUK), retaining its brand name, existing management and structures.

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Bareface targets America and China with Invisible Artists acquisition

Birmingham-based advertising agency Bareface has acquired Invisible Artists, a global content production studio based in Sydney. With this deal Bareface aims to expand beyond its current Birmingham, London and New York offices into APAC and the west coast of America, where IA has projects ongoing with Facebook and Nielsen.

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Coretronic buys Bradford-based electronics display company Calibre

Taiwanese AV specialist Coretronic Corporation has acquired high-end image scaling and processing technology company Calibre. Based in Bradford, Calibre employs 30 people and will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coretronic. Coretronic is a supplier to the majority of the world’s Tier 1 DLP projector brands. The acquisition allows it to enter the rapidly expanding direct-view LED display markets, as well as further advancing in the proAV markets.

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Connection Capital backs JCRA Group MBO

JCRA Group, a provider of hedging, financial risk and debt consultancy services, has completed a £13.6m MBO with backing from clients of Connection Capital. The company has secured £6.7m of investment which it plans to put towards maximising synergies, technological improvements and continued expansion in its existing areas of operation. Globally, JCRA is the second largest advisory firm in ‘Over the Counter’ (OTC) derivatives. The company sees potential for growth following several misselling scandals and a subsequent increase in regulation that has seen banks mostly retreat from the market.

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