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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Langlands Garden Centre completes MBO

Family-owned firm Langlands Garden Centre has been acquired by its founder’s grandson for an undisclosed sum. With sites in Leeds, Sheffield and York, Langlands employs over 180 staff and has a turnover of c. £7.5m. The business sells plants and garden furniture, as well as diversifying into giftware, farm shops, café bars and eating outlets in recent years.

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Hotelbeds to buy HolidayTaxis Group

Hotelbeds has agreed to acquire HolidayTaxis Group for an undisclosed sum. HolidayTaxis is a leading provider of taxi and shuttle solutions, primarily for airport to city and resort transfers. Founded in 2002, it operates 21,000 transfer routes spanning 150 countries. The deal complements Hotelbeds’ ancillary business unit ‘Beyond the Bed’, which provides transfers, activities, tickets, car hire, travel insurance and specialist tours.

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Seattle pet-sitting startup acquires European rival

Pet-sitting platform Rover.com has bought London-based competitor DogBuddy, a dog boarding, day care and walking business with 25,000 registered sitters. Coming only five months after its entry into the UK, the deal accelerates Rover’s growth in Europe.

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First Response Group passes £25m turnover with Apardion deal

Security and facilities business First Response Group has completed a deal for Aberdeen’s Apardion. The move expands FRG’s capabilities in the corporate security sector and boosts turnover past £25m.

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Credit Karma acquires Noddle

US fintech firm Credit Karma has acquired Noddle, a UK-based credit reporting service with four million users. Noddle was the first business to offer free credit information in the UK. It has offices in London and Leeds and employs 35 people. Credit Karma recently received $500m of secondary investment, which saw the company’s valuation reach $4bn. It plans to double its UK workforce in the next 12 months.

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Constructel buys MJ Quinn for €35m

UK telecom services group MJ Quinn has been sold by Palatine Funds to Constructel for €35m. Constructel is a French firm, owned by Portugal’s Visabeira Group, that is active in telecommunications and energy network engineering services in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Italy. MJ Quinn employs c. 400 people and provides managed services for telecoms, transport, safety and other networks. It reported revenues of £102.9m in the year ended 31 May 2017.

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Prime Accountants Group acquires Birmingham firm

Prime Accountants Group has revealed it completed the acquisition of Rochesters Chartered Accountants in October. The Birmingham-based firm provides Prime its third office and expands its workforce to over 100 staff, including 12 directors and two consultants. Rochesters has rebranded as Prime Rochesters.

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Boston Scientific to buy BTG for £3.3bn

British life sciences firm BTG has received a £3.3bn all-cash offer from US medical devices company Boston Scientific. Born out of British post-war industrial policy in 1948, BTG specialises in products used to target cancer and vascular diseases. The firm has had a rocky year, with stock dropping 40% between January and mid-July as it failed to secure regulatory approval for one its lead devices, a lung coil for emphysema. Since then it has seen shares partly recover with the news of a 12% increase in sales to $495.7m in the six months to September and gross adjusted profits up 39% to $178.5m. Boston Scientific’s offer represents a 52% premium on BTG’s average share price over the last six months, but is only 13% above where stock was a year ago. The US firm has 40 offices and 27,000 employees worldwide, and generated net sales of $9bn in 2017. It has identified annual synergies in this deal of $175m by the end of 2021. BTG acquired Irish vascular device maker Novate Medical in September.

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GVC strengthens in Australia with Neds takeover

GVC Holdings, the owner of Ladbrokes and Foxy Bingo, has agreed to acquire Australian sports betting firm Neds International for up to £52m. Launched just last year, Neds is already on track to reach A$1bn of wagers and gross gaming revenue of A$100m in 2018. GVC expects the deal to generate annual cost synergies of around A$16m by the end of 2021.

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Northfield Agricultural Services bought by Peacock & Binnington

Northfield Agricultural Services has been acquired by agriculture machinery dealer Peacock & Binnington. The deal pushes Peacock’s turnover past £60m, and has been financed with funding facilities from Barclays. Peacock has a presence with outlets posted across Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, as well as Corringham, Essex. This deal expands the firm into East Yorkshire and takes its workforce to 135 people.

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