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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L’Occitane agrees $900m deal for British brand Elemis

French skincare brand L’Occitane is to acquire British beauty business Elemis for c. $900m (£687m) in cash. Elemis sells premium quality beauty products to consumers directly online and wholesale via various distribution channels, as well as offering traditional and alternative massage and body and skin treatments. It had estimated net sales of $140.2m and EBITDA of $39.9m in the year ended December 2018. It has been sold by Steiner Leisure, a division of private equity firm L Catterton.

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Vineyards Pookchurch and Bolney Wine Estate merge

Neighbouring vineyards Bolney Wine Estate and Pookchurch have merged to form a 104-acre estate. Pookchurch has 27 Ha of planted vines, including stills such as Pinot Gris, Bacchus and Pinot Noir, and other sparkling varieties.

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Four-way merger creates £120m turnover Synetiq

A new £120m turnover vehicle dismantling group has been created following the merger of Motorhog, Car Transplants, FAB Recycling and DH Systems. The new entity, to be called Synetiq, will be headquartered in Doncaster with 16 sites across the UK. Altogether, the company will have a fleet of 100 collection and delivery vehicles, 50,000 registered auction customers and over 400 staff.

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Cogent acquires NC Creative Group

Integrated marketing agency Cogent has acquired Solihull-based communications firm NC Creative Group. The deal bolsters Cogent’s B2B offering, and boosts its headcount to 100 staff. Cogent reported turnover of €19.1m for the 2017 calendar year.

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Drupal specialist Ixis acquires LiberoNet

Web development firm Ixis has announced the acquisition of LiberoNet. The deal builds on Ixis’s expertise in Drupal to include other open source platforms such as WordPress, Shopware and Magento. The deal will see LiberoNet’s team of four relocate from their Birchwood office to Ixis’s HQ in Warrington.

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MBO completed at Ibbotsons Produce

A management buyout has been completed at Ibbotsons Produce, a Tadcaster-based food production business, with backing from HSBC. Ibbotsons increased turnover by 53% to £28.8m in the last financial year.

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West Midland Safari Park bought by The Looping Group

West Midland Safari Park has been bought by French amusement park operator The Looping Group. In 2017, WMSP reported turnover of £14.7m and just under 500 staff. The Looping Group consists of 15 regional parks in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

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R&G Acquisitions purchases Hyphose

R&G Acquisitions, the owner of several industrial, hydraulic and pneumatic product providers, has acquired fluid power specialist Hyphose. Hyphose reported turnover of £5m in 2018 with a loss of £175,000.

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Elevate agrees deal to take over Halebury

US legal services company Elevate has sealed a deal for Halebury, a flexible resourcing specialist, to complement its talent arm Elevated Lawyers. Elevate provides technology, people, data science and consulting tools to the legal sector, acting as a strategic partner to law firms and in-house teams.

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Vertu Motors acquires Vans Direct for £7.5m

Auto dealer Vertu Motors has acquired Vans Direct for £7.5m. Founded in 1999, the online retailer is based in Newport and employs 42 staff.

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