Some of the best known companies headquartered in the North West have been involved in a series of high-profile acquisitions and funding rounds in recent weeks.
The likes of AO, Boohoo and The Co-operative Bank 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 central bank of Norway has become one of the largest shareholders in fast fashion giant Boohoo.
Norges Bank has snapped up a stake worth about 3.1% in the Manchester-headquartered listed company.
The move has been confirmed in documents filed with the London Stock Exchange.
Norges Bank’s new holding in the company makes it one of the largest single shareholders in Boohoo, ahead of the likes of Franklin Templeton Institutional and Artisan Partners.
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SRL Traffic Systems
A job-creating portable and temporary traffic equipment provider has been backed by a European private equity firm in a £191m deal.
Cheshire-headquartered SRL Traffic Systems has secured the investment from 3i Infrastructure in a move which provides an exit for LDC.
The company supplies some of the UK’s biggest infrastructure projects from its nationwide network of 30 depots, primarily servicing the traffic management and events industries.
LDC backed the business in September 2019, investing £24m to support the management team’s growth strategy.
A London-based investment giant has taken a 10% stake in online electricals retailer AO.
Odey Asset Management now has a 10.3% holding in the Bolton-headquartered company.
The move, revealed in documents filed with the London Stock Exchange, means the firm is AO’s third largest shareholder behind CEO and founder John Roberts and Camelot Capital Partners.
Odey Asset Management has previously held shares in AO but sold them during the year.
The backer of the likes of Mowgli Street Food has sold a Manchester-based translation company to a European private equity firm.
IK Partners has snapped up DA Languages from Foresight Group for an undisclosed sum.
The company was founded in 1998 and provides services to organisations communicating with non-English speakers.
It has a network of over 8,000 mother tongue interpreters and translators and its offering spans face-to-face, video and telephone interpretation along with written translation services.
Wrights Food Group
A 600-strong food group which was founded almost 100 years ago has been acquired by an industry giant.
Crewe-based Wrights Food Group has been snapped up by The Compleat Food Group, which was formed through the merger of Addo Food Group and Winterbotham Darby in January 2021.
In a statement, the buyer said the move would provide “incremental scale while continuing its diversification into the foodservice/B2B channel and expanding the group’s customer base”
Former Manchester United player and England international Nicky Butt has invested in a gaming and blockchain company.
Gaimin.io, which is headquartered in Manchester, is a new platform which has been designed to boost the world’s processing power through gaming PCs.
The exact stake the former Newcastle player has taken in the company has not been revealed.
Mr Butt, who is a co-owner of Salford City FC alongside other Class of ’92 members, said: “I am delighted to join the Gaimin team.”
Asset management giant Abrdn has confirmed plans buy a Manchester-based stock-picking platform in a deal worth almost £1.5bn.
The deal would see Abrdn acquire 100% of the shares in Interactive Investor.
In a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange, the buyer said the acquisition “will significantly enhance our presence and growth opportunities within a fast-growing and attractive market”.
The owner of Uswitch, Confused.com and Money.co.uk has completed its acquisition of Mojo Mortgages.
RVU first announced the deal for Mojo mortgages, which recently relocated its head office from Macclesfield to Manchester, in July.
The company has more than 60 employees and is a free online mortgage broker, delivering personalised recommendations through smart tech and experts.
Department store Selfridges is set to be sold to Thailand’s Central Group in a deal worth around £4bn.
The Weston family have been searching for a buyer since the summer for the chain which was founded in 1908 by Harry Selfridge.
The chain’s flagship store is located in Oxford Street, London, and opened on 15 March 1909.
Halfords has agreed to acquire the group behind the likes of National Tyres and Autocare in a deal worth more than £60m.
The giant has signed a sale and purchase agreement to purchase the entire issued share capital of Stockport-headquartered Axle Group Holdings, whose brands also include Viking Wholesale Tyres and Tyre Shopper, for £62m.
The consideration will be paid in cash on the date of completion, which is expected to be December 9, 2021.
Halfords, which is headquartered in the West Midlands, also confirmed that a further investment of about £17m will be made post acquisition on associated capital expenditure and about £2m on integration costs.
A “superior” submitted by an American investment giant to takeover a Warrington-headquartered software developer, which values the company at more than £1.2bn, has been agreed.
Blue Prism Group, which also has a base in London, had previously reached an agreement at the end of September with Vista Equity Partners.
Vista had already seen off competition from TPG Capital which has has previously invested in the likes of Airbnb, Burger King and Spotify.
However, Blue Prism has now withdrawn its recommendation for the original offer, which valued it at £1.1bn, in favour of the new bid from SS&C Technologies.
The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank is to invest an initial £500,000 into a Manchester-based technology platform.
BankiFi has signed a “lucrative co-development deal” with the bank.
The funding will be used to co-develop a range of products aimed at improving the offering of banks to the SME market, with the initial focus being on cash management.
Cloud Commerce Group
A Lancashire technology company which works with the likes of Amazon, eBay, Etsy and Wayfair has been acquired by advertising giant WPP.
Cloud Commerce Group (CCG) helps brands to market, sell and deliver their products across e-commerce platforms and marketplaces globally.
The business employs more than 100 people across Europe and will join the Wunderman Thompson global network.
A Manchester-headquartered cyber security company founded by professional hackers has secured $4m to fuel future growth.
The investment into CultureAI, which also has offices in London and Edinburgh, was led by Germany-based venture capital firm Senovo.
The seed round also saw participation from new investor Conviction alongside existing backer Passion Capital.
Angel investors Paul Forster, the co-founder of Indeed, and Guntram Friede, head of marketing, EMEA Salesforce and MuleSoft, also joined the round.
A technology company which works with the likes of Boohoo, Asos and Topshop has secured a major funding boost.
Liverpool-headquartered Margin Guardian has received a six-figure package from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners.
The platform, which provides fashion retailers with data insight and targeting services, will use the funds to create 10 jobs, commercialise and develop an android version of its app, in addition to the iOS version, as well as fuel its marketing activities.
A delivery platform used by the likes of Asda, Asos and Lush has secured $40m and acquired an automated returns company whose customers include AO.
Manchester-based Sorted has closed its Series C funding round and snapped up Clicksit, which is also located in the city.
The acquisition marks Sorted’s continued expansion into the US market with Clicksit’s growing number of returns management customers in the country.
The funding round was led by Chrysalis Investments, which has invested in THG, Secret Escapes and Starling Bank, and Arete Capital Partners who already backs North West companies such as Peak, Tactus Group, SysGroup and Inspired Energy.
RSK Group has acquired the business and assets of Hi-Line Contractors S.W. Ltd.
Hi-Line provides arboriculture, grounds maintenance, training and associated services.
Originally established in 1998 by managing director Hugh Griffiths as a tree cutting company, today it provides a full range of commercial and domestic professional tree surgery and arboricultural services to a wide range of clients, in the power transmission, rail, construction, local authorities, and private client sectors.
The acquisition has secured the jobs for its 210 employees based in offices in Exeter, Bristol, Cornwall and London.
Protec Fire Security Group
Lancashire-based fire detection and security technology specialist Protec Fire Security Group has been sold to Bosch Building Technologies.
Protec, advised by RSM UK throughout the transaction, is headquartered in Nelson and employs around 1,100 people at its nine sites across the UK and the Netherlands with a turnover of £125m.
Bosch Building Technologies currently has the focus of its European system integrator business in Germany and the Netherlands and is also active as a system integrator in the USA and Asia.
Coadjute, the blockchain network for the UK property market that aims to transform the ease and speed of home purchasing, has announced a £6m investment funding round led by Manchester-based Praetura Ventures.
The business is a blockchain network that enables the existing software used by estate agents, conveyancers, mortgage brokers and lenders to become interoperable, enabling the parties involved in a property transaction to synchronise and share progress updates, property information, digital identities and payments.
The network aims to create a “seamless journey” with improved security for all parties.
LDC has completed a minority investment in the software company IEG4.
Headquartered in Alderley Edge, IEG4 develops software solutions that enable public sector organisations to deliver better and more streamlined digital services to their customers.
LDC is backing managing director Paul Tomlinson and his existing management team to support IEG4’s organic growth strategy.
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