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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SIG sells VJ Technology for £29.7m

SIG has disposed of its VJ Technology division, a supplier of specialist building products. Part of SIG Distribution, VJT supplies technical fixings, fastenings and consumables to the infrastructure, commercial and wider construction industry. It has been bought by private equity firm Primary Capital for £29.7m. The divestment is in line with SIG’s medium term strategy of refocusing the group’s portfolio and strengthening its balance sheet by disposing of smaller, non-core businesses.

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BP takes charge of leading EV infrastructure firm

BP has plugged into the EV market with the acquisition of Chargemaster, the UK’s biggest electric car charging firm. The deal signals BP’s commitment to scaling up ultra-fast charging on its UK forecourts, adding 6,500 docking points to its nationwide portfolio. On completion of the deal Chargemaster will be rebranded to BP Chargemaster and integrate its network with BP’s 1,200 service stations. It will rollout BP’s ultra-fast charging infrastructure, including 150kW docks capable of delivering 100 miles of range in 10 minutes. BP expects the EV market to expand significantly in the coming years, predicting that 12 million vehicles will be on UK roads by 2040.

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Literacy Capital invests in Dartmouth Partners

Investment firm Literacy Capital has acquired a minority stake in Dartmouth Partners, with assistance from business bank OakNorth. Dartmouth Partners is a leading recruiter in the City, with clients including Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and UBS. It aims to create another 40 jobs by 2020 with this deal.

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Dimensions Training Solutions acquires Learndirect

Sheffield-based adult education and apprenticeship business Learndirect has been bought by Dimensions Training Solutions, cementing a relationship that included the provision of learning technology. Based in Leicester, DTS employs around 150 people and delivers apprenticeships, commercial training and advanced learner loans. The deal could save around 1,000 jobs after government cuts to adult skills funding and a poor rating from Ofsted put Learndirect’s future in doubt.

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Gentrack Group seals £23m deal for Evolve Analytics

Gentrack Group has agreed to buy Evolve Analytics, an energy data analysis software and services provider, for £23m. The deal bolsters the Auckland-based company’s leading position in utility billing and customer information systems in the UK. Evolve Analytics MD Alan Duggan will join the Gentrack UK management team.

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Viking Mead buys Valhalla Brewery

Viking Mead has bought the UK’s northernmost ale producer, Valhalla Brewery on the Isle of Unst, Shetland. Founded in 2017, Viking Mead makes Skald, a ‘session-strength’ mead at around 5%. It will continue to produce this along with Valhalla’s line of craft ales.

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Ovation Travel Group gains foothold in UK

US business travel group Ovation has completed its first overseas acquisition with a deal for Chartwell Travel, a specialist in organising travel for entertainment, film, television and news production companies. The business will serve as Ovation’s base for luxury leisure and independent corporate travel advisors in the UK.

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Capgemini acquires Adaptive Lab

Capgemini has completed a deal for Adaptive Lab, a digital design studio that helps businesses adjust to new technology and associated shifts in consumer behaviour. Established in 2009, Adaptive Lab’s team is comprised of 50 designers, developers and strategists. With a particular strength in financial services and telco, its acquisition augments Capgemini’s end to end digital services offering.

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Future Industrial saves 40 jobs at Colt

Future Industrial Services has acquired Colt Industrial Services from Augean, saving the Hull business from potential closure and securing the future of 40 jobs. The deal brings FIS’s headcount to over 350 people and expands its range of services.

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Körber acquires Centriq

Hamburg-based multinational Körber has acquired Centriq, a provider of IT solutions for the logistics, supply chain and retail sectors. Based in Blackpool, Centriq is the holding company for Voiteq and Cirrus Logistics. Voiteq specialises in voice-activated solutions for use in warehouses, while Cirrus Logistics provides supply chain modeling and simulation software. The deal establishes Körber’s logistics systems business as a market leader.

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