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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London Stock Exchange Group acquires Beyond Ratings

Beyond Ratings, a provider of environmental, social and governance data for fixed income investors, has been acquired by London Stock Exchange Group. With experience in low-carbon, ESG performance and climate exposure, the firm fits the trend towards more sustainable financial products.

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Rank Group to take in Stride

Casino and gambling operator Rank Group has offered £115.3m for AIM-listed Stride Gaming. The deal continues Rank’s push away from its casinos to online platforms like Mecca Bingo, which attract a younger audience. Stride is the third largest online bingo operator in the UK, with an 11% market share.

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GCI acquires Modality Systems

IT services provider GCI has announced the acquisition of Modality Systems, the world’s largest dedicated Microsoft communications and collaboration practice, with European operations based in St Albans. The deal will allow GCI to grow overseas and capitalise on the growing global market for Microsoft-based cloud communications services.

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Canadian firm buys bus builder Alexander Dennis

The double-decker bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis has been acquired by the Canadian bus and coach builder NFI Group. Headquartered in Scotland, Alexander Dennis reported £630.8m turnover for 2018 and will retain its current management team.

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Serco acquires naval systems business

Service provider Serco has increased the scale and capability of its US defence business with the acquisition of Alion’s naval systems business unit (NSBU) for £170m. NSBU is a supplier of naval design and systems engineering to the US Navy, US Army and Royal Canadian Navy.

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Macquarie beats out USSL for KCOM

KCOM, a provider of communications services to businesses and public sector organisations across the UK, has accepted a £563m takeover offer from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. KCOM had previously accepted an offer from Universities Superannuation Scheme but decided that Macquarie’s offers its shareholders greater value.

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BT to close 270 offices

Further to the announcement last May that BT will close its London headquarters and cut 13,000 jobs, the telecoms group has revealed more detail about its reorganisation plans. BT is planning to close 90% of its offices in a consolidation programme that it says is the biggest of its kind in the UK. 300 offices will be whittled down to 30 by 2023. BT’s unions have warned the closures will need to be handled carefully. After torrid few years for the firm, Philip Jansen took over from Gavin Patterson as CEO in February. Last month, Jansen unveiled an initiative to give employees £50m in shares annually as part of a scheme to boost morale and improve the group’s image.

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Double swoop sees Allianz become UK’s second biggest insurer

Allianz has made two acquisitions as it increases its presence in the UK market. The first sees it buy Legal & General’s general insurance business for £242m, whilst the second will see Allianz buy out the remaining 51% stake in LV General Insurance Group from Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society for £578m. The two deals mean Allianz is now the second biggest general insurer in the UK.

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WYG to be taken over by Tetra Tech

The building consultancy WYG has agreed to be taken over by the American company Tetra Tech. The £43.4m deal enables Tetra Tech, a global consulting and engineering company, to expand into the UK and European markets.

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London and Capital UK bought by Foster Denovo

London and Capital UK’s wealth business has been bought by national advice firm Foster Denovo.

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