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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Heads & All Threads bought by American SCM business

ParkOhio, a US supply chain management specialist, has bought Heads & All Threads, based in Birmingham. Founded in 1986, HAT specialises in developing vendor-managed inventory programs of fasteners, machined parts and other class C components to end markets including automotive, construction and EMS. It has operations in the Czech Republic, India, Poland and the UK.

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Totally completes £11m deal for Vocare

Totally has entered the UK’s growing urgent care market with the purchase of Vocare for £11m. Vocare provides healthcare services to CCGs across the UK, covering around 9.2 million patients a year; it is responsible for out-of-hours services and the NHS 111 call centres. Vocare’s revenue grew from £32.4m in the year ending March 2015 to £76.8m in March 2017.

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Aviva acquires ‘robo-advisor’ Wealthify

Aviva has acquired a majority stake in Wealthify, an automated investment service or ‘robo-advisor’. Aviva will use Wealthify to expand the range of insurance and investment services available to its customers on the digital hub MyAviva. Launched in 2016, Wealthify aims to be an easy to use and low fee digital service to attract millennials and those new to investment. Customers can put money into one of five diversified investment plans through ISAs and general investment accounts. Startups offering robo-advisors have generally struggled to acquire AUM due to current overcrowding in the market and lower than expected uptake. Nevertheless, they are predicted to manage around $1tn of assets by 2020.

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Qube meets rubric for MRI Software acquisition

MRI Software has acquired Qube Global Software, a leading UK-based provider of property and facilities management solutions. Qube’s property and financial management capabilities include facilities management, integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) and space management solutions, complementing and expanding upon MRI’s existing offering as well as increasing its global reach. The deal closely follows MRI’s acquisition of Real Asset Management in September and grows the group to a team of over 1,000 employees serving 5,500 clients. MRI’s 350 employees in the UK makes it one of the largest property tech providers in the country, and in Europe as a whole.

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BAE Systems to cut almost 2,000 UK jobs

BAE Systems is to cut almost 2,000 jobs across its UK sites. The company says the job losses are due to a variety of factors, including the winding down of support and sustainment activities at RAF Marham and RAF Leeming following the Government’s decision to take the RAF’s Tornado fleet out of service in 2019, uncertainty over future orders for its Typhoon jets, and the ongoing restructuring of its Applied Intelligence business. In all there are 750 planned redundancies at Warton & Samlesbury in Lancashire, 400 at Brough in East Yorkshire, 245 at RAF Marham & RAF Leeming, 340 at Portsmouth & Solent and 180 at other locations including London and Guildford.

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The Hut Group continues beauty brand acquisitions spree

The Hut Group’s acquisitions spree has continued with cosmetics brand Illamasqua. Illamasqua has branded stores located in Leeds, Liverpool and London and its products are stocked in Selfridges and Debenhams in 15 locations across the UK, as well as online. Illamasqua will join THG’s growing beauty category alongside other recent acquisitions ESPA and Glossybox.

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Co-op on the brink of £137.5m Nisa takeover

The board of Nisa Retail has recommended Co-op Group’s £137.5m takeover offer to its members. If successful, the Co-op would add a 3,200 stores to its portfolio and take on Nisa’s £105m of debt. Nisa would remain a standalone business and brand, but its 1,190 members would be able to benefit from Co-op’s own brand range, as well as have the opportunity to be a part of senior management engagement meetings and apply to become a Co-op franchise. Owned by over 4.5 million members, the Co-op employs 69,000 people, has a turnover of £9.5bn and owns 3,800 outlets across the UK.

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Stallergenes Greer acquires Canada’s Medic Savoure

Stallergenes Greer has strengthened its presence in North America with the acquisition of Medic Savoure, a specialist in the Canadian allergy immunotherapy (AIT) market. Headquartered in London, Stallergenes Greer is a biopharmaceutical company specialising in treatment for respiratory allergies. Medic Savoure commercialises a full range of AIT products, including Stallergenes’ own since the 1970s, and is licensed to produce individual and customised patient treatments.

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Glamour magazine to go ‘digital-first’

Condé Nast has announced that Glamour Magazine is to go ‘digital-first’ from January 2018, cutting the release of its print publication down from a monthly to a biannual event. Glamour is one of the top ten best-selling magazines in the UK, making this news a bellwether for the future of the industry. The move will mean redundancies in commercial and editorial as the team restructures.

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Baldwins expands into Scotland with double acquisition

Baldwins, a market leading accounting, tax and advisory firm, has expanded into Scotland with the takeover of Campbell Dallas. The move is Baldwins’ largest acquisition to date, adding some 260 staff and annual revenue of £16.5m onto its books. Baldwins has also announced the purchase of fellow Scottish firm Springfords, which has three offices and employs 40 staff. Baldwins joined CogitalGroup last year, and will reach a turnover of £89m with these acquisitions.

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