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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Duni wraps up deal for Biopac

Swedish food packaging business Duni has acquired a 75% stake in Kindtoo, trading as Biopac, from enterpeneurs Mark Brigden and Eric Graham. Established in 2002, Biopac employs 12 staff in the creation of food packaging and service products using sustainable materials. The company will be incorporated into Duni’s Business Area Meal Service.

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Trinity Mirror announces £200m deal for Express and Star titles

Trinity Mirror has announced that it is acquiring the publishing assets of Northern & Shell. The deal includes the Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star, the OK!, new! and Star celebrity magazines and a 50% joint interest in the Irish Daily Star. The £126.7m purchase price includes an initial cash payment of £47.7m, deferred cash consideration of £59m payable over 2020-2023, and the balance of £20m in the issue of new shares. Trinity Mirror will also make a one-off cash payment of £41.2m to the Northern & Shell pension schemes, with a further £29.2m agreed through to 2027. The acquisition allows the group to reduce duplication, share content and widen the breadth of coverage between its titles, and is expected to deliver £20m in annualised cost synergies by 2020. Trinity Mirror employs 5,300 people and owns a large portfolio of regional newspapers as well as the Labour-supporting Daily and Sunday Mirror. It had been in talks to take over Northern & Shell’s Brexit-supporting papers since autumn.

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Insurer Reliance to end 100 years of mutual ownership

Reliance Mutual’s takeover by Life Company Consolidation Group (LCCG) is to be decided by the High Court in a hearing in March. Founded in 1911, Reliance Mutual is owned by around 10,000 members who voted 98% in favour of the sale in December. Based in London, LCCG owns Utmost Wealth Solutions and intends to use the acquisition as a platform to secure more traditional books of life business in the UK.

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Arla Foods acquires Yeo Valley Dairies

Arla Foods has bought Yeo Valley Dairies, securing access to the Yeo Valley brand for milk, butter, spreads and cheeses. The Yeo Valley yoghurt, ice cream, cream and desserts business will continue to be run independently through Yeo Valley Group. Arla’s ambition is to encourage more customers to switch from standard to organic products. The company believes that organic milk in particular is currently underrepresented in the UK (at only 4% of total market sales) compared to other European countries such as Germany (10%), Sweden (16%) and Denmark (29%). 60% of all growth in the UK milk market was attributable to organic products in the last 12 months.

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Dura-ID Solutions created with UK merger

IML Labels & Systems has completed a merger with Longcombe Labels and Leeds Marque Concepts, creating Dura-ID Solutions. The combined £14m-turnover firm employs 100 people across its five sites in Cambridge, County Durham, Mansfield, Paignton and Sheffield.

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360 Chartered Accountants merges with Walsh & Co

360 Chartered Accountants has announced a merger with fellow Yorkshire firm Walsh & Co. The deal expands 360’s capacity and resources while giving Walsh & Co full use of 360’s offices in Hull, Melton and East Hull, in addition to its own site in Withernsea.

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VEO Group seals cool deal for I.C. Electrical

Burton-upon-Trent electrical installations and contracting business I.C. Electrical has been acquired by Finnish technology firm VEO Group. The deal formalises a relationship between the two companies to deliver automation and electrification projects that goes back to 2008, establishing a base for VEO Group’s UK operations.

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J Murphy & Sons takes over Carillion’s UK power business

Engineering and construction group J Murphy & Sons has announced the acquisition of Carillion’s UK power framework business. The deal means Murphy takes up Carillion’s role working with the National Grid to deliver planned replacement and refurbishment schemes on their 33kV to 400kV transmission network spanning England and Wales. The company also becomes the new joint venture partner of Eltel forming the MEJV on the overhead line and T Pylon framework. Carillion’s employees on these projects will join the firm.

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Techform Fine Chemicals in its element with Safic-Alcan takeover

Safic-Alcan UK, a major distributor of speciality chemicals, has acquired Techform Fine Chemicals. Techform specialises in chemicals for the construction sector, improving Safic-Alcan’s offering in this area.

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The Freight Transport Association buys TrainingTeam

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has acquired TrainingTeam, a provider of dangerous goods and security training for air, road and sea cargo. The move expands upon the FTA’s already substantial presence in compliance training for the transport industry, improving its online resources in particular.

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