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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Capita sells Supplier Assessment Services for £160m

Global private equity firm Warburg Pincus has acquired Supplier Assessment Services from Capita for £160m. Supplier Assessment Services is a provider of technology-enabled third party pre-qualification and health and safety accreditation services in the UK. Its customers span the public and private sector in construction, facilities management, education and utilities. The deal includes the Constructionline and Acclaim portfolio of products and services.

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Highfield Gear Industries saved from administration

Business advisory and corporate recovery firm Quantuma has sold Highfield Gear Industries out of administration to Yorkshire Engineering Services 24/7, saving 16 jobs. Based in Huddersfield, Highfield manufactures gearboxes, gears and parts, undertakes repairs and holds spares. It recorded revenue of £1.6m in the last financial year.

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Baldwins buys Kidderminster accountancy firm

Business advisory firm Baldwins has added to its portfolio of 64 offices with the acquisition of dhjh chartered accountants in Kidderminster. dhjh employs 15 people and provides services to over 550 businesses and individuals.

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The Gym Group buys 13 easyGym sites

The Gym Group is to buy 13 sites from easyGym in a deal worth £20.6m, with an additional £4.1m to be paid once lease extensions are agreed for two of the gyms. easyGym currently operates 16 gyms, with another under development. The sale aligns with its decision to pivot to a franchise model targeting overseas expansion, as announced in March. The Gym Group currently owns 133 gyms nationwide and will part-fund the acquisition through a £24m equity placement.

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Daisy Group acquires EE partner Voice Mobile

Building on its recent takeover of TalkTalk’s b2b customer base, telecoms giant Daisy Group has bought Voice Mobile. The Birmingham-based firm has been partnered with Daisy since 2004, and will continue to manage EE mobile accounts following the acquisition. Daisy Group is a leader in the distribution marketplace, and will use the deal to create an ‘EE centre of excellence’.

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Equitable Life sold to LCCG for £1.8bn

Equitable Life has agreed a £1.8bn deal to transfer the society and all its policies to Reliance Life, part of the Life Company Consolidation Group (LCCG). LCCG is a specialist in buying up old books of life insurance business. The sale sees the majority of Equitable’s 400,000 policyholders receive a windfall, with the bonus level applied to the underlying value of with-profits policies jumping from 35% to between 60% and 70%. Equitable has been closed to new business since 2000, after a financial scandal that brought it close to collapse and led to the UK government paying more than £1bn in compensation to members. The deal, which would remove policy guarantees, will be voted on by eligible policyholders in mid-2019.

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Foresight Group invests £2m in Epistem MBO

Foresight Group has invested £2m in a management buyout of contract research business Epistem from Genedrive plc. Headquartered in Manchester and with offices in Baltimore in the US, Epistem is a life sciences services company specialising in pre-clinical and clinical development for therapeutic areas including oncology and inflammatory diseases.

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William Jackson Food Group buys Wellocks

Following its recent disposal of Aunt Bessie’s, William Jackson Food Group has announced the acquisition of ingredients supplier Wellocks. The £50m turnover business supplies fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and dried store ingredients to a national customer base of restaurants, casual dining chains, hotels and sports venues. With headquarters in Lancashire, Wellocks employs 470 people and operates from four locations nationwide.

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Incremental Group steps up UK expansion plans

Glasgow-headquartered Incremental Group has bought Gap Consulting, a Microsoft Gold CRM Partner based in Northwich, Cheshire. Incremental Group is targeting £60m revenue by 2022, with a workforce of more than 500. This deal boosts its headcount by 40 to 125 across three sites, and provides it with specialist expertise in the health, professional services and not-for-profit sectors.

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Cyberfort Group improves data security offering with latest acquisition

Cyberfort Group has completed a third acquisition with the takeover of Wakefield-based cybersecurity consultancy Agenci. Agenci has offices in Wakefield and London and specialises in ISO 27001 and GDPR. With this deal it joins ultra-secure hosting and managed services provider The Bunker and cybersecurity testing business Arcturus. Backed by Palatine Private Equity, Cyberfort aims to build an end-to-end data security proposition to capitalise on the noise around GDPR and the forthcoming ePrivacy Regulation.

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