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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Halma buys Mini-Cam from LDC

Technology group Halma has completed an £85m acquisition of Mini-Cam in a move that sees the exit of mid-market investor LDC. Based in Warrington, Mini-Cam designs and builds modular pipeline inspection systems for use in the construction, engineering, nuclear, oil and gas, petrochemical, security and water sectors. LDC backed an MBO of the company in 2015, which has since grown to a workforce of 50 and from owning one site to three. Mini-Cam has also increased its international focus with exports now making up 42% of its sales, up from 31% two years ago. This addition tips Halma’s revenue over the £1bn mark for the year.

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Long Tall Sally acquires Pretty Tall

Long Tall Sally, a clothing brand specialising in apparel for tall women, has bought Dutch retailer Pretty Tall. The deal gives Long Tall Sally control of two retail outlets in the Netherlands.

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Safestore snaps up Stork Self Storage

Safestore has acquired Stork Self Storage, increasing its UK portfolio by 12 to 120 stores. The deal is worth £56m and reinforces Safestore’s standing as the largest self-storage company in the country. This latest acquisition closely follows another £56m deal for Alligator Self Storage in September, which again added 12 sites to Safestore’s portfolio.

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Aon to buy Henderson Insurance Broking Group

Professional services giant Aon has agreed to buy Henderson Insurance Broking Group. Headquartered in Leeds, Henderson Insurance Broking Group is one of the UK’s largest independent brokers, focusing on general insurance, health and benefits and trade credit insurance, and employing over 400 people. It will join Aon Risk Solutions UK, supporting Aon’s ambition of growing its UK retail businesses by increasing its footprint in the mid-market and specialist sectors.

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Trust Tech eyes deal for Gap Personnel Group

Japanese technical staffing company Trust Tech has announced plans to acquire a 75% stake in Gap Personnel Group. A subsidiary of 1998 Holdings, Gap Personnel specialises in providing staff to the UK logistics, food and manufacturing sectors. The deal forms part of Trust Tech’s strategy to expand its scope in worker dispatch services for the engineering and manufacturing fields, as well as broadening its offering to include new sectors such as IT and soft services.

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Carillion continues sell-off with Ask stakes

Carillion has continued its sell-off with the disposal of its two-thirds stake in Ask Real Estate and 50% interest in Ask Carillion Developments. Dukehill has acquired these assets for £13.8m. Carillion bought its majority stake in Ask in January 2016 with the aim of creating a £500m pipeline of commercial property development activity across the Northern Powerhouse region. This deal closely follows the £50m sale of its healthcare facilities management business to rival firm Serco. Carillion has been thrown into crisis after issuing a large profit warning in July. The company is aiming to raise £300m through the sale of various assets by the end of 2018.

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Victoria to find feet in ceramic flooring market

Carpets and floorcoverings group Victoria is expanding its product range with the purchase of Italian ceramic flooring manufacturer Ceramiche Serra. The deal is worth £50.4m, with £32.6m to be paid on completion and the remaining balance to be paid over four years on the condition of certain financial targets being met. Ceramiche Serra supplies to a combination of wholesalers, retail groups and independent stores throughout Continental Europe, North America and the Far East. The deal is Victoria’s entry into the ceramic flooring market, which is the largest sector in the world, making up 60% of flooring sold globally and 30% of flooring sold in Europe.

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Smith & Nephew acquires Rotation Medical for $200m

Medtech firm Smith & Nephew has agreed a $200m deal to take over Rotation Medical Inc, a developer of novel tissue regeneration technology for shoulder rotator cuff repair. Smith & Nephew will pay an initial $125m with a further $85m payable depending on the company’s financial performance over the next five years. Rotation Medical’s procedure uses a bioinductive implant to help tendons heal by inducing growth of new tendon-like tissue. It will become a part of Smith & Nephew’s Sports Medicine portfolio.

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Going with the flow – Group HES bought by Flowtech Fluidpower

Flowtech Fluidpower has continued its proactive acquisitions policy with the purchase of Group HES for £4.1m. The AIM-listed business has acquired a network of HES branches in Birmingham, Durham, Gloucester and Leeds including a total of 89 staff. The deal will be used strengthen its Power Motion Control division, following in the same vein as the deal for HTL announced earlier this year.

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Inflexion buys Virgin Experience Days

Inflexion Private Equity has completed an acquisition of Virgin Experience Days. Virgin Experience Days curates over 750,000 activities and breaks each year, and has seen its revenue double to £50m in three years. The company operates both B2C and B2B divisions, which offers employee rewards and recognition programmes for clients including Barclaycard and Samsung. Leisure sector expert Simon McMurtie has joined as Chairman while Matthew Briggs has been appointed Commercial Director.

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