Analysts are sounding the alarm over the looming merger of the UK’s competition watchdogs, the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission. The move by the two investments and competition agencies is expected to cause major ripples in the country’s competition regulations. Plans have been underway to merge the two for some time now and it is expected the merger will result in considerable changes in the UK’s competition regime.
Resolution Ltd reported Friday it is planning to acquire Bupa Health Assurance Ltd. Resolution Health, based in Guernsey is a life insurance group while Bupa Health Insurance is as well a UK group risk and individual protection unit of private health care firm Bupa. Under the terms of the planned acquisition, Resolution Health will remit 102 million pounds for the takeover.
Booker acquired Ritter and pub wholesale Classic drinks for an investment pegged at 4 million pounds. Booker, the food and drinks wholesaler undertook the investment as part of expansion plans as it seeks to tap into the larger UK market. Ritter is a specialty foods supplier in the UK. The investment will see Booker takeover the business and assets of Classic Drinks from Classic Drinks Ltd which is a subsidiary of Halewood International Ltd.
First Milk and Milk Link reported Tuesday they had struck an agreement that will see Arla Foods UK Plc become a shareholder in Westbury Dairies Ltd. Westbury Dairies Ltd is a joint venture firm, owned by First Milk and Milk Link, that produces the UK’s foremost skimmed milk powder and bulk butter.
Ultimate Finance Group plc is to conditionally buy the whole of the issued share capital of Ashley Commercial Finance Ltd. The investment will be done for a consideration of 4.75 million pounds to be paid via a 3.70 million pound in cash and 1.05 million pound in shares. Other than that, a deferred consideration of ups of 2.70 million pounds may be payable.
In a move that may create a considerable loss of jobs, UK firms Thomas Cook and the Co-op have outlined their plans for a merger of their high street travel businesses. The two firms announced they are planning a merger of their high street travel businesses forming the biggest travel firm in the UK. With about 1,200 shops under their name, the formed entity will be the UK’s biggest travel business and the second biggest in foreign exchange.
American airlines, British Airways and Iberia last week revealed they had finalized their routes merger deal. The three airlines unveiled the new routes, pledging to offer their passengers quality services and flight flexibility. The deal was an $8 billion transatlantic joint business and was appended last week. The merger and the unveiling of the new routes are aimed at reinforcing the three airlines’ already existing oneworld alliance.
Actis is mulling the sale of its stake in Halonix Ltd for $56 million. Actis is a UK based private equity firm. The firm is considering the sell of its stake to a strategic investor. The 66 per cent stake in Halonix Ltd was acquired back in 2007 through Actis India Fund. The transaction would value the Halonix Ltd stake at the selling price, $56 million.
Indian firm Komli Media has acquired the UK’s Indoor Media Ltd for an undisclosed amount. The deal was a cash and stock deal and is meant to reinforce the firm’s operations in the global market. Komli is a media network firm, keen on strengthening its international offering and increasing its portfolio.
Dutch bank ABN AMRO’s former private equity arm, AAC Capital is mulling a sell of IMCD, sources revealed. Speculation has arisen that AAC Capital is keen on selling the Rotterdam based chemical distributor. As it stands currently, IMCD generates about 1 billion Euros in revenue. The reports first appeared Wednesday, reiterating the firm’s detailed plans geared at disposing the chemicals distributor.
UK based firms Borble and Label First have sealed their merger, creating a 2.3 million pounds firm. The two label firms announced their merger deal Monday, with the fresh entity expected to have a turnover of the 2.3 million pounds. Under the terms of the agreement for the merger, Labels First managing director Gary Lovell will become a joint owner of the new entity and will be assisted by Gavin Scott.
Caldic said Friday it had finalized its takeover of Omnichem, a UK based chemical distributor. Caldic undertook the acquisition as a complementary addition to its operations in the UK. The firm is keen on reinforcing its UK offering, with a strategy that is focused on an expanded foothold. Caldic’s last takeover was concluded last month, with the continued acquisition geared at further expanding its businesses.
Global portable accommodation rental firm Algeco Scotsman is on the acquisition spree, having taken over two firms across Europe. The firm bought French and a British firm; as it seeks to foment its position and offering. Algeco Scotsman bought Yvelinoise; a Paris based modular space renter and the UK’s Cabin Centre Ltd’s 2000 mobile storage units.
In a bid to expand its UK commercial property portfolio, Fidelity Investment Managers purchased a number of commercial property sites. The firm said it had increased its UK commercial realty offering through the acquisition of several properties. It is understood the firm spent an estimated 85 million pounds on a range of investments. Most of the investments are found in the Midlands.
After turning down two bids for its takeover, Spice is to be finally acquired by Cinven. Cinven, the European buyout firm, said it will be acquiring Spice, a provider of support services for an estimated 251.1 million pounds. The move comes in the face of two other subsequent buyout bids Spice fought, but still has to attain shareholder approval and other mandatory regulatory certifications. Cinven made the acquisition through Cilantro Acquisitions, a firm it created.
British Gas’ parent firm, Centrica Plc Monday said its British Gas Business unit acquired the assets of the gas and electricity services businesses of Connaught Compliance. Connaught Compliance is the trading arm of the Connaught Group Plc. The transaction will be undertaken for an estimated 11.2 million pounds, to be paid in full and in cash upon sealing the deal. The investment is expected to result in a 600 strong work force for British Gas Business.
United Biscuits may be up for sale if the Sunday Times report is anything to go by. The Newspaper carried reports regarding a planned purchase of the UK based firm by Chinese firm, Bright Food. The Chinese firm is currently believed to be in exclusive talks for the purchase. If successful, the investment will see the Chinese firm part with about 2.5 billion pounds.
The UK’s Office of Fair Trading last week said it will not be referring the Korea National Oil Corp offer for Dana Petroleum to the country’s competition watchdog. In its ruling, the office reiterated there was no need to refer the Korean takeover plans for the British firm, Dana Petroleum to the Competition Commission. Its decision was motivated by information available under the UK’s 2002 Enterprise Act.
The UK’s Office of Fair Trading is considering Asda’s propositions regarding its proposed takeover of Netto’s stores in the country. The agency is mulling undertakings offered by Asda regarding its intended takeover of the 194 groceries stores owned by Netto in the UK. Asda is interested in selling 47 Netto stores based all over the UK in a move targeted at solving local competition concerns that have come to light as a result of the merger.
The $8 billion merger proposal between Iberia and British Airways has finally gotten the thumbs up from regulators. Regulatory approval was the only thing standing in the way of the deal. The approval however comes after the Spanish airline, Iberia, approved a fresh funding arrangement for British Airway’s multibillion-pound pension deficit.
Flybe may be making at least two acquisitions as it seeks to expand its continental Europe operations. Currently the largest domestic airline in the UK, the firm is thought to be mulling acquisitions as it increases its business size for growth. As it stands, the firm has gradually hiked its size by almost half via acquisition of units in British Airways. However, it is understood Flybe is not keen on expanding beyond the UK, with its focus strongly rooted on the domestic UK market.
The 3i Group has sold 6.6 per cent of its shareholding in Welspun Corp Ltd. 3i sold the stake in the steel pipemaker, formerly called Welspun Gujarat Stahl-Rohren. The 3i Group bought the shareholding in Welspun Corp back in 2007 for an estimated Rs 350 crore. The acquisition came as one its introductory forays into India, an investment it undertook via the private- investment-public-equity mode.
New Zealand based Tru-Test Group has made considerable investment in the UK. True-Test Group, headquartered in New Zealand and considered the leading firm in electric fencing, animal weighing and milk metering equipment, undertook a significant amount of investment in the UK through the purchase of the business and assets of Ritchey and the shares of Fearing. The firm will be taking over the operations and assets of Ritchey, in addition to the shares of the Fearing firm.
Elder Pharmaceuticals will acquire NeutraHealth Plc through its wholly owned subsidiary, Elder International FZCO. The UK based NeutraHealth Plc will be bought for an estimated 9.8 million pounds, around Rs 70.60 crore. Elder Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, Elder International FZCO is based in Dubai, and the investment is meant to bolster its offering in the UK.