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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First Response Group acquires Robinsons M & E

Integrated security services provider First Response Group has taken over Robinsons M & E (RME) to create a £25m turnover group. RME is a Harrogate-based boiler, air conditioning and electrical installation firm that has recently completed contracts including a £1.3m care home for The Fisher Care Group and a £1.7m work for The University of Leeds via Sewell Construction and Henry Boot. FRG has eight branches nationwide and a turnover of £15m.

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Petards seals £1.5m deal for RTS Solutions

Transportation software engineering company RTS Solutions has been acquired by AIM-listed software developer Petards. Based in Leeds, RTS Solutions delivers web-based, real-time safety critical applications primarily for Network Rail and its Tier 1 contractors.

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HgCapital sells JLA to Cinven

International private equity firm Cinven has announced that it is buying JLA, a leading critical asset supply and services business in the UK. Headquartered in Ripponden, JLA provides commercial laundry, catering and heating solutions to more than 25,000 SMEs. Founded in 1973, the company employs around 900 people, including roughly 300 engineers. HgCapital has made a five-fold return with its sale.

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Newbury Investments acquires EU Fire & Security

EU Fire & Security has been sold to Newbury Investments, a Berkshire-based holding company with a turnover of roughly £600m. Founded 15 years ago, the fire alarm distributor is based in Rochdale, employs 25 people and turns over more than £12m.

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Uniguest buys UK digital signage business Onelan

UK digital signage business Onelan has been bought by US cybersecurity technology business Uniguest. Uniguest specialises in the secure operating system space, offering solutions to drive consumer engagement in the hospitality, office retail and community living industries. The deal will strengthen Onelan’s US presence with the support of Uniguest’s 180-strong team and 75-person call centre while in return broadening Uniguest’s product portfolio. Onelan will continue to operate from its Reading headquarters for the foreseeable future.

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Arthur J. Gallagher acquires Risk Services (NW)

Arthur J. Gallagher has acquired Risk Services (NW), a regional insurance broker catering to corporate and commercial clients. The business will continue to operate from its current location in Chester overseen by Stephen Penketh, Regional MD for Gallagher’s North-West UK retail property/casualty brokerage operations.

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Hill & Smith buys WAPCO for £31m

Hill & Smith has acquired American safety products manufacturer Work Area Protection Corp (WAPCO) for £31m. Based in Shirley, Hill & Smith is a global provider of infrastructure products and galvanising services with a number of major road infrastructure contracts. WAPCO produces a wide range of products including variable message signs, smart work zone systems and traffic control products such as cones.

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Yorkshire property consultancies agree merger

Property consultancies Hanson Chartered Surveyors and Walker Singleton have agreed to merge. The deal brings together 66 employees and over 160 years’ experience of developments across Yorkshire.

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Groupon takes over Vouchercloud and Giftcloud

Deals and discounts website Groupon has acquired Cloud Savings Company, the owner of Vouchercloud and Giftcloud. The deal, with an enterprise value of $65m, allows Groupon to expand its international online discount code and loyalty programs. Cloud Savings Company operates in 11 countries, primarily the UK, and has more than 5 million subscribers. Based in Bristol, the business employs more than 100 people.

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Lexon UK acquires 11 pharmacies with Vittoria takeover

Pharmaceutical wholesaler Lexon UK has purchased retail pharmacy chain Vittoria Healthcare. The deal adds 11 pharmacies to Lexon’s portfolio, allowing the wholesaler to extend its reach to the North West and Wales. With this acquisition the business now owns 67 pharmacies across the UK. Lexon supplies to over 1,800 independent pharmacies across the UK and Ireland.

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