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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Fates of Bury and Bolton Wanderers raise questions for EFL

Football fans have called for an inquest into the English Football League after two clubs have come close to extinction in two days. Bury FC has been expelled from the Football League after failing to find a buyer, with Bolton Wanderers FC close to following suit but for a last minute takeover by Football Ventures (Whites) saving it from liquidation. Last December, Steve Dale purchased Bury for just £1 from Stewart Day, who had left the club with huge debts, primarily on its ground which had been remortgaged several times. Despite their financial troubles, Bury went on to secure a remarkable promotion to League One, which will now play out its season with only 23 teams. Bolton, meanwhile, had been in administration since May after Laurence Bassini’s takeover attempt fell through. The club has found itself in court at least once a year since 2015.

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Springhill Care Group sold to PrimeLife

The owners of Springhill Care Group have sold the firm to PrimeLife, causing nine redundancies at its head office. Springhill is a provider of nursing, residential, rehabilitation, dementia and day care for adults in Bristol and Lancashire. The deal includes the sale of the freehold of two former Springhill care homes to AEW UK Real Return Fund for £11.5m. PrimeLife is a UK-wide provider of health and social care services that operates more than 60 purpose built care homes.

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Forecourt retailer acquires six sites

East Yorkshire forecourt retailer Sewell On The Go has bought six of its rented sites from Rix Petroleum. The £10m deal means Sewell Group now owns all 13 of its forecourts and convenience stores in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire, serving more than four million customers a year.

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Hero acquires The Balanced You

Health and technology firm Hero has acquired The Balanced You, a provider of mindfulness sessions, wellbeing retreats, reiki and hypnotherapy. The deal is Hero’s third in 12 months, and comes just weeks prior to the launch of its first physical training club, in Angel Gardens, Manchester opposite Amazon’s new HQ. Hero raised £1.3m to support growth overseas in June.

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Sharp Business Systems UK acquires Complete IT

Sharp Business Systems UK has acquired Complete IT, a leading IT support services company. The deal strengthens SBSUK’s position in the IT market with a more sophisticated suite of integrated solutions for the workplace. Complete IT reported turnover of £17.5m in the last financial year, up 18% from 2017-18.

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ChangeGroup expands in Europe with deal for Swedish firm

London-headquartered FX firm ChangeGroup has extended its global reach with a deal for Swedish firm SVEA Ekonomi. The acquisition adds 16 branches and 100 staff to the UK-based group, growing its network to 118 outlets in 10 countries.

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James Fisher buys Brazilian air diving service provider

Cumbria marine services group James Fisher has acquired a 60% stake in Continental Participação E Administração, the holding company of Serviços Marítimos Continental S.A., for £7.5m. Continental is an established air diving service provider to the offshore oil sector in Brazil.

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Grosvenor Chemicals sold to Agro and Widecover

Grosvenor Chemicals, a Huddersfield-based firm which fell into administration as part of the Whyte Group last year, has been sold to JT Agro and Widecover. Grosvenor manufactured a wide variety of products for sectors including agrochemical, pharmaceutical, household and industrial markets, but has shut loss-making divisions since falling into administration and opted to focus on its profit-making agrochemicals division. Its new owner will trade as JT Grosvenor.

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Arch Capital agrees deal for Barbican Group

Arch Capital Group has entered into an agreement to buy Barbican Group from funds managed by Carlson Capital. The deal, which includes Barbican Managing Agency, Lloyd’s Syndicate 1955, Lloyd’s Special Purpose Arrangement (SPA) 6132, Castel Underwriting Agencies and others, deepens Arch’s relationship with Lloyd’s and the London market.

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ActiveOps closes deal for OpenConnect

ActiveOps, a global provider of cloud-based digital operations management solutions, has acquired software firm OpenConnect. ActiveOps says the deal will enhance its Workware software suite capabilities with use of OpenConnect’s data capture technology. ActiveOps serves customers in financial services, shared services, business process outsourcing firms, government, healthcare and other service industries.

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