PKF Cooper Parry syncs with Midlands creative agency

Accountancy firm PKF Cooper Parry has acquired West Midlands-based creative agency Sync Interactive. Sync specialises in mobile and business apps, as well as designing and developing UI and UX, games, illustration, packaging and brands. In the past three years, the company has grown rapidly to take its turnover from £1.5m to £8m, and workforce from 18 to just under 70 people. Its clients have included the BBC, Channel 4, the NHS, Peugeot and Unilever. Sync’s staff will move to PKF’s Park View office in Solihull following the deal.

Vodafone has sealed a £16.1bn (€18.4bn) deal to take over Liberty Global’s cable networks in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic. The acquisition allows Vodafone to expand its operations across Europe; the telecoms group currently only offers mobile services in the latter three countries. Liberty Global is the owner of Virgin Media in the UK and Ireland, which it has no plans to sell.

Starbucks has announced that it is to form a ‘global coffee alliance’ with Nestlé to bring its packaged coffee to single serve capsule systems such as Nespresso and Nescafé Dolce Gusto. The £5.2bn licensing agreement also gives the world’s biggest food and drinks company the right to market Starbucks coffee at retail outlets outside the chain’s own cafés.

Jacques Vert and Precis owner Calvetron Brands has slumped into administration, putting 1,000 jobs at risk. Restructuring firm Duff & Phelps has been appointed administrator and begun the search for a buyer. The fashion group’s brands also include Dash, Eastex and Windsmoor, and are sold via 300 outlets including Debenhams and House of Fraser.

Mirroring CYBG’s announcement of its bid for Virgin Money, challenger bank Paragon has confirmed it is in talks to acquire residential development finance lender Titlestone. Launched in 2012, Titlestone has committed over £2bn across 300 developments in its first six years. Although no terms have yet been decided, Paragon Banking Group has stated that the potential acquisition forms a core part of its growth strategy, building upon its recent reorganisation and rebrand.

CIC Creative has been acquired by Blink Group, a Chorley-based commercial photography business with 50 staff. Made up of Blink Photo and sister company Blink MCR, the combined business has a turnover exceeding £4m. CIC is a full service creative agency which provides CGI, branding, video production, product design and digital services to clients such as Morphy Richards, RKW and Wrights Food Group. Its acquisition sees the transfer of 36 employees and £2.2m in revenues to Blink.

CYBG, the owner of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, has made a £1.6bn offer for Virgin Money. The deal would create the largest ‘challenger bank’ to the UK’s biggest lenders, with a balance sheet of between £60bn and £70bn, over 240 branches and six million customers. Virgin Money, which bought the remnants of Northern Rock in 2011, would retain its brand.

London-listed Shire, a producer of treatments for ADHD and other rare diseases, has agreed a £46bn bid from Japanese pharma giant Takeda, in what would be the largest deal in the sector since 2000. After a series of rebuffs in March, the agreed bid would see Shire investors receive equivalent to £49.01 per share. Shares in the FTSE 100 company rose by 5% in early trading, but remain well below the offer price with concerns that the move may overstretch Takeda’s finances. Shire is most famously the owner of Adderall, a market-leading treatment for ADHD.

Following the receipt of a £23m funding package from BGF and Santander, the Clearway Group has acquired Cerberus Security and Monitoring Services. Clearway is a vacant property services business based in Dartford which provides technology-led solutions such as alarms and CCTV.

YO! Sushi has made a first move into the UK retail sector with the acquisition of Taiko Foods, a supplier to Costco, Pret a Manger and Waitrose. Founded in 1997, Taiko was the first sushi manufacturer for the UK supermarket industry. The company employs 220 at its factory in West London and will retain its management team and brand following the deal. The acquisition builds upon a landmark two and a half years for YO! Sushi with Mayfair Equity Partners, during which it recently made a first significant step into the North American market.

Starbucks and Nestlé agree £5.2bn licensing deal

Starbucks has announced that it is to form a ‘global coffee alliance’ with Nestlé to bring its packaged coffee to single serve capsule systems such as Nespresso and Nescafé Dolce Gusto. The £5.2bn licensing agreement also gives the world’s biggest food and drinks company the right to market Starbucks coffee at retail outlets outside the chain’s own cafés.

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Calvetron Brands goes into administration

Jacques Vert and Precis owner Calvetron Brands has slumped into administration, putting 1,000 jobs at risk. Restructuring firm Duff & Phelps has been appointed administrator and begun the search for a buyer. The fashion group’s brands also include Dash, Eastex and Windsmoor, and are sold via 300 outlets including Debenhams and House of Fraser.

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Paragon Bank confirms talks with Titlestone

Mirroring CYBG’s announcement of its bid for Virgin Money, challenger bank Paragon has confirmed it is in talks to acquire residential development finance lender Titlestone. Launched in 2012, Titlestone has committed over £2bn across 300 developments in its first six years. Although no terms have yet been decided, Paragon Banking Group has stated that the potential acquisition forms a core part of its growth strategy, building upon its recent reorganisation and rebrand.

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Blink Group acquires CIC Creative

CIC Creative has been acquired by Blink Group, a Chorley-based commercial photography business with 50 staff. Made up of Blink Photo and sister company Blink MCR, the combined business has a turnover exceeding £4m. CIC is a full service creative agency which provides CGI, branding, video production, product design and digital services to clients such as Morphy Richards, RKW and Wrights Food Group. Its acquisition sees the transfer of 36 employees and £2.2m in revenues to Blink.

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CYBG offers £1.6bn for Virgin Money

CYBG, the owner of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, has made a £1.6bn offer for Virgin Money. The deal would create the largest ‘challenger bank’ to the UK’s biggest lenders, with a balance sheet of between £60bn and £70bn, over 240 branches and six million customers. Virgin Money, which bought the remnants of Northern Rock in 2011, would retain its brand.

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£46bn bid made for Adderall maker Shire

London-listed Shire, a producer of treatments for ADHD and other rare diseases, has agreed a £46bn bid from Japanese pharma giant Takeda, in what would be the largest deal in the sector since 2000. After a series of rebuffs in March, the agreed bid would see Shire investors receive equivalent to £49.01 per share. Shares in the FTSE 100 company rose by 5% in early trading, but remain well below the offer price with concerns that the move may overstretch Takeda’s finances. Shire is most famously the owner of Adderall, a market-leading treatment for ADHD.

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Clearway raises £23m for acquisitive growth

Following the receipt of a £23m funding package from BGF and Santander, the Clearway Group has acquired Cerberus Security and Monitoring Services. Clearway is a vacant property services business based in Dartford which provides technology-led solutions such as alarms and CCTV.

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YO! Sushi buys supermarket supplier Taiko Foods

YO! Sushi has made a first move into the UK retail sector with the acquisition of Taiko Foods, a supplier to Costco, Pret a Manger and Waitrose. Founded in 1997, Taiko was the first sushi manufacturer for the UK supermarket industry. The company employs 220 at its factory in West London and will retain its management team and brand following the deal. The acquisition builds upon a landmark two and a half years for YO! Sushi with Mayfair Equity Partners, during which it recently made a first significant step into the North American market.

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Pentag to join BG Engineering in Chesterfield

Chesterfield-based manufacturer BG Engineering has bought Pentag Gears and Oilfield Equipment (Pentag), a pattern, wheel and gear manufacturing company based in Sheffield. Founded in 1988, BG Engineering is a precision sub-contractor specialising in CNC machining. Pentag will continue to be managed by Martin Wragg and Andrew Larkin but will relocate to BG Engineering’s 40,000 sq ft facility in Chesterfield.

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Gresham House offers £25m for FIM Services

Gresham House has announced a proposed £25m deal for FIM Services, an alternative investment fund manager that specialises in UK real assets including sustainable forestry and renewable energy investments. The deal would combine two leading firms in UK commercial forestry management and renewables, growing the portfolio and expertise of Gresham House Forestry and Gresham House New Energy in particular. The company intends to raise £15m in new equity to fund the upfront payment for the business.

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