High-profile deals have been announced by companies based all over the North West over the last week or so.
Businesses such as AO, Mike Ashley’s retail giant Frasers Group and private equity investor LDC as well as League One football club Wigan Athletic have all been involved.
Below, BusinessLive has rounded up 14 of the biggest deals from across the region we feel you should not miss.
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AO is headquartered in Bolton (Image: AO) Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has acquired a stake in electricals giant AO worth £75m.
The retail empire, which includes the likes of House of Fraser and Sports Direct, has bought all of the shares in the Bolton-headquartered group held by hedge fund Odey Asset Management.
The firm, which was set up by Crispin Odey, had previously built a sizable stake in the listed group.
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A general view of the the Wigan logo on a corner flag at the DW Stadium (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images) Wigan Athletic have been sold to a company backed by billionaire Mike Danson.
The League One club had previously been owned by a consortium led by Bahraini businessman Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi since they were rescued from administration in March 2021.
The announcement comes after the owners of Wigan announced they had agreed to sell the club earlier this month.
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The logo of the London Stock Exchange (Image: Getty Images) A Manchester-based venture capital investor and small business lender is to raise £10m by floating a new fund on the London Stock Exchange.
Praetura has launched venture capital trust Praetura Growth VCT plc as it expands its suite of tax-efficient offerings to investors.
The fund will primarily focus on investing in companies based in the North of England.
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Dimeji Sadiq and Saffron Mir are the co-founders of Vegan Shack (Image: Vegan Shack) A vegan fast-food restaurant chain has set out to raise £400,000 and open new locations across the UK.
Vegan Shack currently has two sites in Manchester and London after being established in a one-bedroom apartment in Salford Quays in early 2020.
Now valued at over £1m, the company has raised more than £162,000 through its new Crowdcube campaign, with over 70 investors backing the business so far.
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Manchester Building Society
The takeover of Manchester Building Society by Newcastle Building Society has been approved by the sector watchdog.
Confirmation of the go ahead for the move came from the Prudential Regulation Authority which has looked at the deal, first announced to the market in August last year. Since then the two societies have been in talks, with a legally-binding contract put in place in March.
Newcastle Building Society is the larger of the two mutuals with around 345,000 members, 31 branches and assets of about £5.3bn. Meanwhile Manchester has about 11,000 members and total assets of about £178.2m.
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Ultimate (Commercial Interiors) Ltd
Director Steve Cowley, sales and brand director Paul Alexander, contracts director Bobby Murriero, finance director Vici Plunkett, CEO Dan Platt and pre-construction director Steve Broadbent A commercial interiors specialist, which has an office in Manchester city centre, has been acquired in a management buyout by six members of its senior team.
Ultimate (Commercial Interiors) Ltd specialises in fit-out, furniture, design and consultancy, with a particular focus on office spaces and hotels.
The MBO team comprises of long-standing co-owner Dan Platt who is based in Manchester and now takes up the role of CEO, along with Vici Plunkett as finance director, Steve Broadbent as pre-construction director, Steve Cowley as director, Bobby Murriero as contracts director and Paul Alexander as sales and brand director.
The team have taken over the running of the company from Mark Hickey and Mark Naisbitt who founded Ultimate in 2002 and who are now stepping down. However, the pair will maintain a minority shareholding in the business.
(Image: Shared Content Unit) The North West team of LDC, the private equity investor which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, has exited its investment in creative and technology group MSQ to One Equity Partners.
LDC will reinvest in MSQ as a minority partner alongside One Equity Partners to support the next phase of the company’s growth.
MSQ is an international group of agencies that spans the full range of marketing, technology and insight capabilities. Its clients include Unilever, Vodafone, The AA, Vitality, Coca-Cola and Zalando.
A. Lamb Associates
Ewan Slight, Alan Harper, Byron Tyson and Tom Lamb (Image: Andy Buchanan) Cumbria-headquartered A. Lamb Associates (ALA), a quantity surveying and commercial consultancy, has completed the acquisition of Morham + Brotchie Ltd (M+B), a historic quantity surveying and cost consultancy based in Edinburgh.
Originally founded in 1876, M+B’s roster of clients includes National Museums of Scotland; Scottish Historic Buildings Trust; Historic Royal Palaces; The Royal Household and National Trust of Scotland.
Major projects it has been involved with include The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh, for the Royal Household; the National Museum of Flight; The Johnnie Walker Experience in Princes Street, Edinburgh; Gala Fairydean Stadium; Lindores Abbey Distillery; and the Robert Burns Museum.
Law firm Napthens advised ALA on the deal.
Link Waste Group
(Image: Shared Content Unit) Link Waste Group, a jointly owned group of waste management specialists based across the North West, has secured a £2m asset-based lending facility from Cynergy Business Finance (CBF).
Comprising Link Paper Recycling Limited and Link Recycling Limited, the group focuses on providing businesses with total recycling solutions for all waste products.
Founded in 2015, the group now consists of a 240-strong team, and has a strong presence across the North West, with headquarters in Liverpool and Wigan, as well as an additional site in Manchester.
Kingdom Services Group
Kingdom Services Group is headquartered in Newton-le-Willows (Image: Kingdom Services Group) Newton-le-Willows-headquartered Kingdom Services Group has acquired facilities management companies Red Support Services Ltd and Green Support Services Ltd meaning more than 750 staff will be joining its existing workforce.
Specialising in servicing shopping centres and commercial properties, the newly-acquired companies provide national services in cleaning, security and building maintenance, as well as refurbishment, hygiene, washroom and janitorial, and pest control.
The businesses, which are both based in London, will become part of the existing Kingdom Security and Kingdom Cleaning operations.
Cress is headquartered in Manchester (Image: Cress) An online marketplace, dedicated to buying and selling pre-loved clothing for children, has received an investment of £150,000.
After launching three months ago, Cress is expanding to create more opportunities for customers to buy and sell pre-loved, with new categories being launched for accessories and premium brand clothing.
The investment will also enable Cress to partner with sustainable clothing brands and introduce ‘Sustainable New’ options to purchase.
Cress is headquartered in Manchester.
EFS Global is headquartered in Burnley (Image: EFS Global) Burnley-headquartered EFS Global has acquired ILS Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries Sussex Pallet Services Ltd and Independent Logistic Solutions Limited.
Law firm Davis Blank Furniss has acted for EFS on the deal which saw it acquire ILS Holdings Ltd’s entire issued share capital.
The transaction is EFS Global’s 23rd acquisition since 2015. It further consolidates the group’s position in the South East region after it purchased sister companies Eminence Transport Ltd and Floryn Ltd last year which are located Kent.
EFS Global now has 35 depots and offices across England and Scotland.
(Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire) Stellex Capital Management, a middle-market private equity firm, has announced a new platform investment in Bryden Capital Limited (“BCL”) and MPL Group Limited (“MPL”), together the MSS Group, a supplier and manufacturer of critical electronic components, focused on the global power industry.
The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. This is Stellex’s second acquisition in Europe in 2023.
Based in Manchester, with manufacturing operations in India and Poland and distribution facilities in the USA and across Europe, MSS is a provider of design, engineering, manufacturing, and distribution services to the global power industry.
Hill Dickinson advised MSS Group on the deal.
Record Electrical Associates
Record Electrical Associates has been sold (Image: JWPhotoworks/Shutterstock) Record Electrical Associates (REA) has been acquired by a pressure and temperature instrument specialist, Trent Instruments.
REA operates from facilities in Stretford, Manchester, and offers analogue instruments to international businesses. The company was initially founded over 100 years ago.
REA has been sold as part of Alan Johnson and Christopher McGrail’s retirement plans, both of whom maintained active roles as directors in the business.
KBS Corporate advised REA on the deal.
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