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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Bridgepoint to buy master franchise of Burger King in UK

The owner of Pret a Manger, private equity group Bridgepoint, is set to become the UK master franchisee of Burger King, with exclusive rights to the brand in the UK. With this deal, Bridgepoint enters into a 20 year master franchise agreement that gives it control over the brand’s proposition and the right to roll out new stores across the country. It has also acquired Caspian UK Group, which is one of the UK’s largest franchisees with 74 restaurants. Bridgepoint has backed a management buy-in team headed by chairman designate Martin Robinson, whose experience includes roles with Casual Dining Group, Center Parcs and Wagamama. Burger King is currently the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, and has over 500 restaurants in the UK.

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HomeServe takes complete ownership of Checkatrade

Revealed in its interim results this month, HomeServe has acquired the remaining 60% of Checkatrade it didn’t already own for £54m. The move accelerates its creation of a global online platform for home improvements after it made an initial investment in the tradespeople platform earlier this year.

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Inflexion backs MBO of PCMS Group

Inflexion Private Equity has backed a management buyout of PCMS Group, a leading provider of point-of-sale (POS) software for major retailers including Arcadia Group, John Lewis and Walgreens. PCMS offers an integrated unified commerce platform for retail selling points for in-store or cloud-hosted environments, facilitating ‘on-the-go’ retail transactions. The company employs over 450 people in the UK, US and Singapore and has clients in over 140 blue-chip organisations across 55 countries.

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RSM UK becomes Europe’s largest NetSuite provider with FHL deal

RSM UK has acquired FHL, a Crewe-based provider of Oracle NetSuite products and services. RSM is a leading audit, tax and consulting firm, which grows to become Europe’s largest NetSuite provider with this deal. The combined operation will have a team of over 100 and an enlarged business systems service covering cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP), CRM and e-commerce. FHL will continue to trade under its current name.

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Multiyork in administration

The furniture retailer Multiyork has gone into administration. The 39-year-old company employs 547 people in 50 shops and at its manufacturing site in Norfolk. The business continues to trade while administrators search for a buyer.

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Groupe Eurotunnel rebrands as ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Getlink

Groupe Eurotunnel has announced that it is changing its name to Getlink. The rationale behind the name change is said to lie in the company now owning three main commercial brands beyond the channel tunnel, these being Europorte, ElecLink and CIFFCO. In a statement, French chief executive Jacques Gounon has said “Getlink is all that is Eurotunnel and more than just Eurotunnel!” The company’s new ‘Anglo-Saxon’ identity has been read as preparation for a post-Brexit future, causing consternation in some quarters.

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Annuity Management combines Support Warehouse and Tesedi

Following its sale to Annuity Management AG, Support Warehouse is to be combined with AMAG subsidiary Tesedi. The deal enables AMAG to provide a fully-integrated, end-to-end service for the management, renewal and recovery of service and maintenance contracts. The group hopes to profit from Support Warehouse’s 15 year relationship with HPE and its position as the official Renew Reminder Service for HP Technical Services in several leading markets worldwide. The combined business will serve around 10,000 customers in 15 countries.

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Urban Digital Network director buys 200 digital screens

Vincent Whelan, the managing director of Urban Digital Network, has acquired a network of 200 Adpod D6 screens in 53 shopping malls across the UK. The deal will expand the company’s footprint in the UK which already includes the iconic outdoor digital screen adjacent to Cineworld cinema in Leicester Square. Whelan is also managing director of Adtower’s digital media business in Ireland.

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Investoo buys Bitcoinmag.de

Just a fortnight on from securing a new £7.5m credit line, Investoo Group has announced the acquisition of cryptocurrency portal Bitcoinmag.de. The German website is a resource for crypto investors, providing purchase and price information, and allowing visitors to compare exchanges and platforms. This addition broadens Investoo’s international reach, which already encompasses French, German, Italian and Spanish audiences. This deal is the latest in a line of acquisitions Investoo has completed this year, which includes moves for Invezz.com, RoboAdvisors.com and SocialTradingGuru.com.

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Vp acquires Brandon Hire

Vp plc has capped a busy year in the M&A market with the purchase of Brandon Hire Group Holdings. Vp has acquired Brandon Hire and its subsidiaries for a cash consideration of £41.6m and £27.2m of assumed net debt, which has been funded from new banking facilities from the group’s lenders. Brandon Hire is a major national tool and equipment hire business with over 900 employees posted across 143 locations nationwide. Brandon Hire’s extensive customer base, primarily focused in SMEs, complements Vp’s own specialist tool hire business Hire Station.

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