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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Inflexion invests £45m in Mountain Warehouse

Inflexion has invested approximately £45m in outdoor clothing retailer Mountain Warehouse. The business has 220 stores nationwide and 80 overseas, including in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. The £45m deal gives Inflexion a near 20% stake, valuing Mountain Warehouse at £310m. Its sales climbed 22% in the 12 months to 25 February 2018 to £225.3m.

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Singaporean metals trader acquires Acenta Steel

£70m turnover steel processing company Acenta Steel has been acquired by global metals trading business Aar Tee. Headquartered in the Black Country, Acenta employs 350 people and will provide the Singaporean firm the platform to build an industrial presence in the UK.

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Claranet acquires pen testing firm NotSoSecure

Managed IT service provider Claranet has acquired cybersecurity consultancy NotSoSecure, joining Claranet’s ethical hacking training and penetration testing services portfolio. Claranet is one of Europe’s largest MSPs, with £325m in revenue, over 6,500 customers and more than 2,000 employees. It has 24 offices and 43 data centres across Europe and Brazil.

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Eagle Bidco to buy Electronic Data Processing

Kerridge Commercial Systems subsidiary Eagle Bidco has agreed to acquire Electronic Data Processing in a deal that values the software provider at £11.9m. EDP is headquartered in Sheffield and employs around 65 people.

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McBride sells personal care business and issues profit warning

Household and personal care private label product manufacturer McBride has sold its personal care liquids business to Royal Sanders Group for £12.5m. The deal, which includes two manufacturing sites in the UK and Belgium, comes as it issues a profit warning in its trading update for the 12 months to the end of June. The group has already committed to cutting costs in its personal care and aerosols business by closing its operations in Hull by Spring 2019.

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PP Control & Automation bought by Ardenton Capital

Canadian private equity firm Ardenton Capital has invested in PP Control & Automation. The Walsall-based manufacturer provides electrical control systems, cable harnesses and sub-contract manufacturing solutions, employing 230 people. It aims to double revenue to £40m within five years.

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Great Rail Journeys on track with new owners

Duke Street has acquired Great Rail Journeys, a global provider of escorted rail journeys, from ECI. Based in York, GRJ offers just under 400 itineraries to over 50 countries worldwide, targeting the 55+ year old demographic. In recent years the company has moved into new markets such as Australia and more recently the US, following the launch of an office in New York in 2017.

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Micro Focus offloads SUSE for £1.9bn

UK technology group Micro Focus has agreed to sell SUSE, one of its largest divisions, to Swedish private equity firm EQT. SUSE is a leading global provider of open source infrastructure software for enterprises. The business had sales in the year to 31 October 2017 of £244m, and employs approximately 1,400 people worldwide. The £1.9bn deal represents around a third of Micro Focus’s value and reverses years of expansion. The British software group completed a £6.3bn merger with HPE last year and has since seen its share price halve.

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Purplebricks ramps up expansion overseas with Canadian acquisition

Online estate agency Purplebricks has acquired Canadian realtors DuProprio/ComFree (DPCF) for £29.3m. DPCF operates one of Canada’s leading commission-free real estate service networks with a similar online offering to Purplebricks. The deal significantly expands Purplebricks’ overseas presence, with DPCF reporting 39,000 listings in 2017 and revenue of around £26.2m. In March, Axel Springer invested £125m in Purplebricks to accelerate global growth.

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Connectus Group acquires Eximus Solutions

Connectus Group has completed a takeover of Doncaster-based telecoms business Eximus Solutions. The deal forms parts of Connectus’s plan to boost growth across the transPennine region. Eximus will provide technology via collaboration with Connectus clients such as ultrafast business and mission critical connectivity, as well as other value-added services including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), GDPR compliance, data backup, network monitoring and security, CCTV and door entry systems. Eximus will trade under the Connectus name going forward.

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