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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MBO completed at Woodcock & Wilson Group

Woodcock & Wilson Group, a Huddersfield based fan and air movement equipment specialist, has completed a management buyout led by MD Ian Crum. As well as Woodcock & Wilson, the acquisition includes Complete Fan Maintenance, a leading bespoke industrial fan manufacturer.

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Volkswagen Financial Services takes majority stake in Fleet Logistics

Volkswagen Financial Services has bought a 60% stake in Fleet Logistics. The remaining 40% of the firm will be held by existing owner TÜV SÜD Auto Service. Fleet Logistics currently has a contracted fleet of around 200,000 vehicles. The combined firm aims to create a complete range of products and services that combine fleet and travel management.

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Filtermist International buys DCS Group

Industrial air filtration and extraction firm Filtermist International has bought DCS Group, a fume and dust extraction systems specialist. The deal creates a £11.4m turnover group with sites in Dewsbury and Wetherby. DCS will be integrated into Absolent Group, the owner of Filtermist, following completion.

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HMV closes 27 stores following sale from administration

HMV has revealed which of its stores have closed after its acquisition out of administration by Doug Putman. The Canadian music mogul is the owner of the retailer Sunrise Records, and headed off competition from Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley in his pursuit of the chain. Following the deal, 100 HMV shops are to remain open, safeguarding nearly 1,500 jobs across these and HMV’s head office. This will see 27 stores close, including HMV’s flagship presence on Oxford Street, causing 455 redundancies. A further 122 warehouse jobs will also be axed. This is the second time the retailer has gone into administration in six years. Spending on physical music, video and computer games has fallen from £5.7bn to £1.8bn in just 10 years.

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Morses Club seals deal for Hays Credit

Morses Club, the UK’s second largest home collected credit lender, has acquired Hays Credit. Established in 1957, Hays provides loans to around 2,700 customers in the North East of England. The deal complements Morses Club’s recent takeover of Eccles Savings & Loans, a North West based firm with 3,000 customers.

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96 Patisserie Valerie stores saved in rescue deal

Patisserie Valerie has been saved from administration by Dublin private equity firm Causeway Capital Partners. The deal includes 96 of the cake chain’s stores, safeguarding nearly 2,000 jobs, but excludes the 27 outlets belonging to sisters brands Philpotts and Baker & Spice. The administrator KPMG has already closed 70 stores, causing 920 redundancies.

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Honda to close its Swindon plant

Honda is to close its Swindon car manufacturing plant in 2021 with the loss of 3,500 jobs. The Japanese firm said the decision to close the 30-year-old plant was made as a result of changes in the global car market, such as the fall in demand for diesel vehicles. Japan’s new trade deal with the EU will enable Japanese vehicle manufacturers to export direct from Japan to EU countries with zero tariffs by the mid-2020s.

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CB Brook & Co sold in Management Buyout

Fabric supplier CB Brook & Co, trading as Brook International, has been sold in a management buyout. Established in 1871, the historic firm has been led by four generations of the Brook family. Andrew Brook will hand on the mantle of managing director to Chris Drury and Chris Melia, who will share the role.

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SysGroup acquires Certus IT for £8m

Cloud hosting firm SysGroup has acquired Certus IT, a Newport based IT services and cloud hosting provider. The £8m deal includes a provision for a further £1m dependent on performance in the year following closure. SysGroup raised £10m of funds through a share placement, adding to a new £5m banking facility from Santander, prior to the deal.

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Namaste Technologies reconsiders route to UK

Medical cannabis firm Namaste Technologies has scrapped plans to take over AF Trading for $5m and signed a new letter of intent to buy CannMart UK via Namaste Bahamas for $1.5m. CannMart UK is a subsidiary formed by the principal shareholders of Access Fulfilment, who will provide consulting services to AF for two years after the deal closes.

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