Some of the biggest businesses in the North West have been among those to announce a range of mergers and acquisitions over the past week.
The likes of THG, The Sun Valley Nut Company, the backer of Silentnight and GBG are among the top names to have been involved in the deals confirmed since our last round up.
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Here, BusinessLive highlights the deals from across the North West that we feel you shouldn’t miss:
The second largest shareholder in online beauty, wellness and software giant THG has further increased its stake.
Sofina Capital now has a holding of more than 9% in the Greater Manchester-headquartered group, up from just over 8%.
The private equity firm can trace its roots back more than 120 years and is headquartered in Brussels.
The move comes after US-based investment firm T. Rowe Price has snapped up a 5% stake in THG earlier this month.
The Sun Valley Nut Company
The Sun Valley Nut Company, the family firm which was founded in 1949, has been sold to the group behind the likes of Baileys Chocolates, NOMO and The Fruit Factory.
Zertus UK has snapped up the Wirral-based firm for an undisclosed sum.
The buyer’s brands also include Forest of Hope, Kinnerton Confectionery and Lir Chocolates while it makes Baileys Chocolates in partnership with Diageo. It also owns Hull-headquartered Humdinger Foods, producer of branded and own-label healthy snacks.
Sun Valley is a supplier of peanut and nut-based snacking products through the private label, food service and food ingredients channels.
Tosca Debt Capital
The backer of the likes of Silentnight has provided a £20m boost to a £100m-turnover recruitment group.
Manchester-headquartered Tosca Debt Capital has agreed a deal for the funding package with The MCG Group, which is based in Watford.
The group has nearly 300 employees and offers recruitment, consultancy and project-based services within construction, education, healthcare and technology sectors in the UK and internationally.
The transaction which follows three acquisitions made by The MCG Group in the last 12 months while TDC partner Mat Deering will take a seat on MCG’s Group board.
Wejo, the Manchester-based connected vehicle data company which is backed by US giant General Motors, has floated on the Nasdaq after completing a reverse merger.
The deal with Virtuoso Acquisition Corp was first announced at the start of June and valued the North West business at $800m.
As a result of the move, Wejo has received about $225.7m.
Wejo was founded in 2014 and employs more than 250 people.
An identity verification specialist has announced the acquisition of a US counterpart in a deal worth more than £540m.
Chester-headquartered GB Group (GBG) has snapped up identity verification and KYC/AML compliance provider Acuant for $736m (c. £543m).
The AIM-listed buyer’s deal was supported by a $210m (c. £155m) drawdown from a new £175m revolving credit facility, equally split across HSBC UK, Silicon Valley Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Citibank and the Bank of Ireland.
The remaining funds have been raised through a combination of a placing of new shares to institutional investors, new GBG shares issued to certain of the Acuant management and private equity vendors and, existing cash.
Chesnara, the Preston-based owner of Countrywide Assured, has agreed to acquire 100% of the shares of Robein Leven N.V. and its subsidiary Robein Effecten Dienstverlening, a specialist provider of traditional and linked savings products, mortgages and annuities in the Netherlands.
The deal has been agreed through its existing Netherlands-based closed book platform, the Waard Group, with Monument Re Group.
The consideration of £13m will be paid in cash at completion and will be funded from existing resources within Waard.
The deal is expected to complete in the first half of 2022.
Glaisyers ETL, the Greater Manchester and London law firm, has provided corporate legal advice to its parent group, ETL Global UK, on the acquisition of a majority stake in the Southampton law firm Fiander Tovell.
ETL Global UK, which has its British head office in Bolton, has purchased a 51% holding in Fiander Tovell.
Fiander Tovell, which was established in 1976, provides accountancy, audit, tax and corporate advisory services to a range of businesses and regulated organisations, including professional firms, schools and charities. It will remain operationally independent under the leadership of its existing directors Andy Jay, Paul Meacher and Cathy Revis.
Chester-based business lender White Oak has announced it has completed a £150m securitisation facility from Barclays Bank with the funds set to be deployed to SMEs across the UK.
With a balance sheet of c.£500m, White Oak is one of the largest non-bank SME lenders in the UK.
The firm is now set to deploy significant capital into asset finance over the coming years while continuing to grow its loans business.
White Oak will support a range of sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, and construction with its team of consultants having a wealth of experience from across these sectors.
Hybrid cloud and IT managed services provider Celerity has announced a £15m investment from the UK’s most active growth capital investor, BGF.
Preston-headquartered Celerity is a fast-growing provider of high value, complex hybrid cloud and IT managed services.
The business leads organisations through digital transformation and modernisation to deliver greater efficiency in management and optimisation of critical enterprise infrastructure. Its services include cyber security, data recovery and data visualisation.
BGF’s funding will allow management, led by founder Chris Roche (CEO) and Craig Aston (COO) to continue scaling their managed service proposition, which is delivered alongside Celerity’s proprietary IP.
Place Capital Group
Housing estate regeneration specialist Place Capital Group has made its third acquisition.
The Manchester-based group has snapped up Loop Systems for an undisclosed sum.
Loop Systems is a Manchester-based specialist architecture practice that uses participative design processes to deliver architectural services for community groups, housing providers, ethical enterprises and the charity sector.
Its recent projects include a number of assignments with Unicorn Grocery Co-operative, the vegan food retailer in Chorlton, and supporting a local community to take ownership of and redevelop the Grade II listed Stretford public Hall in Trafford.
Blackburn and Bury-based PM+M, the chartered accountancy, business advisory and financial planning group, has acquired the Accrington office of Haworths Chartered Accountants. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
The Haworths team will continue to be located at the Old Tannery in Accrington “for the time being”, with the intention to relocate to PM+M’s head office at New Century House on Greenbank Technology Park, Blackburn, in March next year.
Paul Spencer, who is a director at Haworths, will be joining PM+M as a partner.
Mark Schofield, his director colleague, will be there for the transition period and assist with client introductions before focusing on managing the Haworths Settle office.
Carr Moss Kennels & Cattery
A Halsall-based kennel and cattery is set for expansion after being acquired by new owners, thanks to a six-figure funding package from Lloyds Bank.
Carr Moss Kennels & Cattery opened more than 40 years ago and offers overnight accommodation and care for cats and dogs for short and long-term stays.
When the previous owner retired, the business was put up for sale leading Peter and Andrea Rouch to make an offer.
Combining a love of animals and more than two decades of experience running their own IT consultancy, the business approached Lloyds Bank, securing a six-figure funding package.
Bar Code Data
Aldermore bank has provided a £900,000 invoice finance facility to Bar Code Data to support its growth beyond the pandemic.
Bar Code Data’s services include barcode scanners, mobile terminals, label printers and the associated consumables such as labels and ribbons, together with label design or bespoke software.
The business is based in Ashton-under-Lyne, was established in 1990 and was bought by Mike Jackson in January 2020.
Aldermore provided an invoice finance facility as part of the funding to support the deal, as well as a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) facility supporting the business’ cash flow during the pandemic.
Xploro, a platform that uses augmented reality, gameplay and artificial intelligence to deliver health information to young patients, has secured a £100,000 loan from the Greater Manchester Export Fund, backed by the Recovery Loan Scheme and delivered by specialist lender GC Business Finance.
Founded as a solution to the lack of quality information available to prepare children for hospitalisation, Xploro uses age-appropriate language and interaction paradigms to reduce stress and anxiety around treatments and improve clinical outcomes.
Xploro has already used the funding to recruit four new employees to support its expansion into international markets.
North West-based Time Finance has renewed its back-to-back facility with RBSIF with a new three-year deal.
The £50m facility, which will be used exclusively to provide an increase in invoice finance facilities to business owners throughout the UK, is the important next stage in the firm’s growth plans.
Phil Chesham, head of invoice finance, said: “Securing this increased funding facility is a significant boost to Time Finance and is reflective of the confidence RBSIF have in our business and the vital funding support we provide to firms across the UK.”
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