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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LeoVegas grows mobile gaming portfolio in UK

Swedish gametech company LeoVegas has announced that is acquiring the assets of Intellectual Property & Software, along with related assets from European Domain Management and Rocket 9. The £65m deal includes brands 21.co.uk, Slotboss, Bet UK and UK Casino, strengthening the company’s position in mobile gaming in the UK. Both IPS and EDM are based in Alderney in the Channel Islands. Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Rocket 9 is a marketing services business and existing client of IPS that caters to egaming operators. In 2017 LeoVegas became a ‘unicorn’, a startup valued at more than $1bn.

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Vested acquires financial communications agency Templars

New York-based PR agency Vested has announced the acquisition of Templars Communications, a strategic financial communications agency based in London. The deal allows Vested to establish its first office in London, building upon the global ambitions established with its creation of a global fintech PR network in 2016. Templars’ four staff will remain at their London office, including CEO and founder Kitty Parry who becomes an advisor.

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Google acquires sound technology startup Redux

Google’s parent company Alphabet has reportedly acquired sound technology startup Redux. Founded out of Cambridge in 2013, Redux creates technology that uses vibrations to turn the surfaces of phones or tablets into speakers or to provide haptic feedback. On Redux’s website, now shut down, the company boasts that it has 177 total patents, 115 of which have been granted. Its acquisition provides another weapon to Google’s arsenal as the Pixel battles it out with the iPhone in the smartphone market.

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North Shields software firm acquired by Accruent

Accruent, a global provider of software and services that allow companies to manage the lifecycle of their physical resources, has acquired Kykloud. Based in North Shields, Kykloud is a provider of facility and asset surveying and management software to clients including the BBC, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, and over 30% of all UK surveyors. The acquisition expands Accruent’s offering in capital planning.

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Lady Astor sells Oka to Investindustrial

Investindustrial, the Italian private equity firm that owns Aston Martin, has bought upmarket furniture retailer Oka for a reported £40m. Oka was founded by Lady Astor – who is Samantha Cameron’s mother – along with designers Sue Jones and Lucinda Waterhouse.

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PCM Technology Solutions buys Provista UK

Leading technology solutions provider PCM Inc. (PCMI), has announced that UK subsidiary PCM Technology Solutions has acquired Provista UK. Founded in 2006, Provista UK is known for its expertise in a range of technologies and manufacturers including Cisco, Avaya and other leading vendors. It provides cloud networking, cloud video, hyperconvergence, security, collaboration, secure wireless & IP LAN, WAN and data centre network solutions. As well as in these areas, the deal expands PCM’s managed services and multilingual global service desk within Europe, and provides it with Cisco Gold Certification. Provista UK is headquarted in Glasgow with additional offices in Aberdeen and Birmingham.

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Carillion goes into liquidation

Construction services giant Carillion has gone into liquidation after rescue talks with the government and lenders failed over the weekend. The company had racked up more than £900m in debts and a £587m pension deficit, forcing it to sell off a number of its businesses last year. The Carillion pension scheme will be one of the largest ever taken over by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). Carillion’s collapse will have implications throughout the UK; the company has vast reach into the NHS, education, prison services and the building of infrastructure and new homes, with key contracts including the Aberdeen bypass and a joint venture with Kier to work on the HS2 railway. 43,000 jobs have been put at risk, as well as a number of smaller suppliers and subcontractors. Theresa May has said that she is ‘resistant’ to the idea of a taxpayer funded bailout, although the government will aim to protect the vital public sector work that the company delivered. Questions have been raised as to why £2bn worth of contracts continued to be awarded to the company after it issued a first profit warning in July.

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Bolton Gate Services opens door to Novoferm acquisition

Novoferm Group, a subsidiary of Japanese company Sanwa Holdings, has bought Bolton Gate Services, a provider of maintenance, repairs and servicing for industrial doors and shutters. BGS has 15 depots and employs 120 people in the provision of a 24hr service to customers nationwide. NF Group is Europe’s second largest manufacturer and retailer of residential, industrial and garage doors.

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Countrywide Farmers sells LPG business to DCC

Countrywide Farmers has sold its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution business to Irish giant DCC for £28.75m. The sale of the business has been prompted by a hold up in the sale of Countrywide’s retail business to Mole City Farmers, which is now expected to complete in March. DCC is a £12bn turnover sales, marketing and support services group based in Dublin. The acquired business will join DCC LPG.

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Bunzl acquires catering equipment business Aggora Group

International distribution and outsourcing business Bunzl has acquired Aggora Group. Aggora Group designs, supplies, installs and maintains commercial catering equipment for use in a range of end markets in the UK. The company recorded a turnover of £27m in the last financial year.

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