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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Compre Group buys €300m non-life run-off portfolio from Generali

Independent insurance and reinsurance legacy specialist Compre Group has acquired the UK non-life run-off portfolio of Assicurazioni Generali. The Italian insurance giant has sought to streamline its operations and optimise capital allocation by offloading its UK business in what has been described as a highly competitive tendering process. The portfolio, totaling €300m of liabilities, comprises APH and some UK Employers Liability business, which have been in run-off since the early 2000s. The deal is Compre’s eighth and largest acquisition of 2017.

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Brenntag completes double acquisition of ingredients suppliers

Brenntag has made a double swoop in the UK food ingredients distribution sector with deals for A1 Cake Mixes and Kluman & Balter. The companies provide value-added services for the bakery supply chain that complement Brenntag’s offering, which includes new product development, technical competence and support informed by insight into market requirements and trends. The business is expected to generate total sales of approximately £77.5m in the financial year 2017.

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CPM Holdings acquires Proline Engineering

US firm CPM Holdings has acquired Proline Engineering, a supplier of high-speed, high-volume conveyancing solutions, installation and aftermarket services for the metal packaging industry. Proline will continue to operate from Manchester with the same management team while leveraging CPM’s global operational base. The deal secures CPM Holdings its fourth facility in the UK.

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TRIGO enters UK with Bridge Group acquisition

TRIGO has acquired Bridge Group from its founder Neil Endley. A specialist in supplier turnaround management, training and technical resourcing, Bridge Group will provide TRIGO with a springboard into the automotive, aerospace and heavy transportation industries in the UK. TRIGO is an international provider of quality support and conformity assessment services, employing over 8,000 people worldwide.

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TCS Media changes ownership with MBO

Independent planning and buying agency TCS Media has changed ownership with the completion of an MBO. The company’s new owners are managing director David Price, digital director Ciaran Deering and finance director Sean Guthrie. The media agency covers channels ranging from programmatic to TV in-house, serving a number of big clients that include AGA Rangemaster, Laura Ashley and Sudocrem.

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Connect Group offloads Connect Books to Aurelius

Private equity firm Aurelius has acquired Connect Books, a multi-channel wholesaler, distributor and retailer of books with a projected turnover of around €250m for 2017. Considered a non-core asset by Connect Group as it seeks to refocus on its specialist logistics business, Connect Books will rebrand back to Bertram Group following the deal. The business is comprised of six brands, which are Bertram Books, Wordery, Dawson Books, Erasmus, Houtschild and Bertram Library Services.

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Blockchain specialist Black Cactus Global buys World on Wireless

Blockchain development business Black Cactus Global has announced the acquisition of World on Wireless UK, a provider of white label payment systems and services to banks, financial institutions, remittance companies and retail chains. WOW will continue to develop initiatives in cryptocurrency and blockchain with access to Black Cactus’ substantial portfolio of blockchain IP. WOW’s experienced software development and management team will be retained.

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IWG approached by Brookfield and Onex

Serviced office provider IWG has confirmed that it has received bids from Canadian private equity firm Onex and Brookfield Asset Management. Since news of these offers reached the press in December IWG’s share price has jumped 30%, making up the fall that resulted from the issue of a profit warning in October.

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Zurich sells student insurance broker Endsleigh to A-Plan

Insurance giant Zurich has sold student insurance broker Endsleigh to A-Plan Holdings. Endsleigh was established in 1965 by the National Union of Students (NUS). It will continue to operate as a standalone business from its base in Cheltenham.

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Cefetra acquires grain trader Premium Crops

German agri supplier BayWa AG has expanded in the UK with the acquisition of Premium Crops, which will be integrated with BayWa’s UK subsidiary Cefetra.  Premium Crops is a leading specialist crop contracting and supply business focusing on sustainable, traceable and fully risk-managed supply chains for niche oilseeds and grains. The deal enables Cefetra to expand its range of exclusive crop products while demand from the food and feedstuffs industry for specialities is growing. Cefetra supplies over 4 million tonnes of grain and other products to the agriculture sector each year.

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