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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Jarell Group kicks off busy 2018 with Midlands acquisition

Birmingham-based recruitment firm Jarell Group has bought Nova Recruitment Services, a specialist in industrial and technical positions across the Midlands. Supported with a new multimillion-pound funding deal from HSBC, the acquisition adds more than 150 new clients to Jarell’s portfolio. Combining both recruitment and training services, Nova employs over 200 people and delivers commercial training to hundreds of Midlands-based businesses each year. Jarell Group has hinted that this deal could be the first of up to six in 2018.

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Sysco to purchase foodservice wholesaler Kent Frozen Foods

Sysco Corporation has moved to grow its European business with the purchase of Kent Frozen Foods, pending regulatory approval. The £47m deal would see the foodservice distributor join the likes of Brakes, Fresh Direct and M&J Seafood among Sysco’s other UK businesses. KFF is headquartered in Kent with distribution facilities in Aylesford and Witney. It would continue to operate as an independent entity.

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Spectris completes £163m acquisition of Concept Life Sciences

Spectris has completed a £163m deal for Concept Life Sciences, a UK-based provider of integrated drug discovery, development, analytical testing and environment consultancy services to the pharmaceutical, biotech, agrochemical and environmental sectors. Spectris is a leading supplier of productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls. The acquisition adds test service capabilities to its Materials Analysis division, where it has strong synergies with Malvern Panalytical. Spectris expects these markets to continue to grow as a result of increasing regulation and the complexity of pharmaceutical R&D and investments in new therapies.

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Bright Blue Foods seals sweet deal for Hull cake-making facility

Cake-maker Bright Blue Foods has agreed to buy the Hull-based desserts facility of Greencore. Backed by mid-market private equity firm Endless in 2015, this investment sees BBF grow to a £140m turnover business with over 2,000 staff. The Hull division will trade as BBF (Hull) Ltd and be led by Jonathan Lill as CEO.

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ICS Cool Energy bought by Ingersoll-Rand

Ingersoll-Rand, owner of Trane brand chillers, has acquired UK business ICS Cool Energy. ICS is a £50m provider of temperature control hire, service and purchase, and will become part of the company’s commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) business.

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ThreatMetrix joins LexisNexis Risk Solutions in £580m deal

Digital authentication specialist ThreatMetrix has been bought by RELX Group, the owner of LexisNexis, for £580m. ThreatMetrix’s technology analyses over 250 digital factors, including connections among devices, locations, anonymised identity information and threat intelligence, and combines this data with behavioural analytics to identify high-risk behaviour and transactions in real time. Its digital identity network analyses over 100m transactions per day. It will become a part of LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

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MVF acquires technology news website Tech.co

US technology news website Tech.co has been taken over by MVF. Based in London and with an additional office in Austin, Texas, MVF is a fast-growing customer acquisition platform with over 400 staff. Founded by ex-AOL colleagues Frank Gruber and Jen Consalvo, Tech.co created the ‘Tech Cocktail’ event in 2005 for startups and innovators to find amplification, funding, partnerships and support. The company has since earned revenue from consulting, the release of a book and the Tech.co news brand.

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Joule Group buys UK cylinder manufacturer

Joule Group has bought the RM Solar group of companies, a Castleford-based producer of water storage solutions for merchants and housebuilders. RM Solar has an aggregate turnover exceeding £30m and employs more than 130 people. The acquisition provides Joule with a cylinder manufacturer in the UK.

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Dechra to acquire Dutch firms AST Farma and Le Vet

Dechra Pharmaceuticals has announced that it is buying two Dutch businesses, AST Farma and Le Vet, for a combined €340m. AST Farma is one of the leading companion animal pharmaceutical companies in the Netherlands, focusing on generic and generic plus products. Le Vet concentrates on European markets outside of the Netherlands and has worked with AST Farma to develop its product portfolio and establish a network of marketing partners across Europe, which includes Dechra. Together the companies hold around 90 product registrations. To fund the deal, Dechra has announced a share placing that will raise £100m, with the remaining 75% to be paid in cash.

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Sanofi pays $11.6bn for biotech group Bioverativ

French pharma giant Sanofi has agreed an $11.6bn deal for Bioverativ, a biotech company specialising in haemophilia therapies. The deal provides Sanofi with a platform for growth in this and other rare blood disorders, particularly through the advance of Fitusiran. Fitusiran is a factor replacement therapy to which Sanofi has global development and commercialisation rights that is expected to be the standard of care in haemophilia for years to come. Worth around $10bn a year and with 181,000 people affected worldwide, haemophilia is the largest market for rare diseases. In 2016, Bioverativ raised $847m in sales and $41m in royalties.

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