A range of high-profile businesses and individuals have announced a series of investments and acquisitions since the turn of the year.
The North West deals sector has started 2022 with a bang, with BusinessLive’s inbox inundated with announcements.
Among those featured in this week’s round up are new Dragon’s Den star Steven Bartlett and double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee as well as established companies such as AO, Frenkel Topping and consumer lender Oplo.
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Here, BusinessLive rounds up the latest deals from across the North West that we feel you should not miss:
A digital challenger bank has agreed to acquire consumer lender Oplo to create a 500-strong group with more than 171,000 customers.
Tandem Bank is to snap up the Blackpool-headquartered company which was launched in 2009 by Alex Mollart.
When the deal completes, which is expected to be at the end of January, the combined business will have offices in London, Blackpool, Cardiff, Durham and Manchester.
Tandem launched in 2014 and acquired Harrods Bank in 2018 as well as Allium Lending Group in 2020.
The transaction has been led by Pollen Street Capital which has financial stakes in both companies.
Tandem CEO Susie Aliker will lead a combined executive team as CEO while Mr Mollart will be deputy CEO.
Double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee has revealed the reasons why he has invested in a Liverpool-based fitness app which has recently launched to market and is poised to embark on a second fundraising round.
The British athlete has backed GoJoe which was founded by fitness entrepreneurs Will Turner and Phil Steele, who first met at Leeds University in 2003.
The company has recently secured clients such as Diageo, PwC and Capita and announced its first event to feature NFTs.
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A streaming platform start-up for independent films and TV series has almost reached its funding target ahead of launching publicly on Crowdcube later this month.
Paus.tv, which is headquartered in Manchester, has so far secured 85% of the £500,000 it is hoping to raise to boost the company’s marketing arm as well as create new jobs and invest in its product.
Over the last year the business has worked with the likes of Sir Ian McKellen, David Tennant, Sadie Frost and Himesh Patel and also expanded into NFTs.
The company has so far been backed by high net-worth individual investors on Crowdcube and is expected to launch its fundraising drive publicly on January 18.
Chief executive and founder Rishi Kapoor told BusinessLive that the firm may choose to overfund if the £500,000 target is reached.
The second largest investor in online electricals retailer AO has further increased its stake.
Camelot Capital Partners, which is headquartered in the US, has upped its holdings in the listed company from 17.21% to 18.80%.
The move has been confirmed in newly-filed documents with the London Stock Exchange.
The firm is AO’s second largest shareholder, behind CEO and founder John Roberts.
Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb sits in third place with Odey Asset Management in fourth.
Manchester-headquartered professional and financial services firm Frenkel Topping has acquired a company which works closely with a number of key NHS Major Trauma Centres in a deal which could rise to £10m.
The AIM-listed business has snapped up Cardinal Management for an initial consideration of £5m.
An additional payment of up to £5m “may become due to the sellers of Cardinal on an earn-out basis linked to certain challenging financial performance targets relating to future growth and profitability of the company between completion and 31 December 2025”.
Cardinal Management was established in 2015 by managing director and majority shareholder Andrew Pemberton.
It provides trauma patients and their families with much needed help and support while in hospital.
A Manchester-headquartered software provider, which works with the likes of EY, IHG and King’s College London, is to create 60 North West jobs after securing an eight-figure funding boost.
Digital adoption platform AppLearn has received the financing from Silicon Valley Bank and NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners (Maven) and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).
The revolving lending facility will enable AppLearn, which also has offices in Boston and San Francisco, to scale its international reach.
The funding will also support the creation of up to 60 new roles within the organisation’s North West-based team.
Steven Bartlett has made an artisan cheese retailer his first investment on Dragons’ Den.
The millionaire entrepreneur, who co-founded Social Chain in Manchester alongside Dominic McGregor, bought a 5% stake in London-based cheesegeek for £150,000.
The investment was shown as part of the hit BBC One show’s first episode.
The deal was subject to Mr Bartlett’s money being returned within two years.
Edward Hancock, founder of cheesegeek, said: “We honestly couldn’t be more thrilled to have Steven on board at cheesegeek, and are incredibly proud to be his first-ever investment on the Den.
Manchester-based HW Global has announced an acquisition in the digital recruitment market after securing a majority shareholding in Osmii.
The London-based development, cloud and digital recruitment specialist, which was founded by Xavier Osipczak and Neil Mitchell in 2011, places senior talent into start-ups, major software players and brands on a permanent, contract and interim basis.
Osmii also supports clients with advisory services, market intelligence and entity set up.
Operating globally, its client base includes India-headquartered Wipro, Germany based T-Systems, US based DellEMC, with Unilever, BT and Lloyds Bank among its UK customers.
Software specialist Carebeans has secured a six-figure equity investment.
The funding will go towards its social care management software and has been received from Liverpool-based MSIF and the Development Bank of Wales.
The co-investment includes the trade and assets acquisition of the software business of Standex Systems and five new staff who move to Carebeans from Standex UK.
Carebeans was first established by chief executive Nick Lawford in 2019.
Premier Technical Services Group
Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG), a provider of specialist services to the construction and facility management sectors, has completed the acquisition of North West-headquartered Nationwide Specialist Services (NSS).
NSS is a nationwide specialist services provider, covering all aspects of external building maintenance – including window and technical cleaning, testing and platform hire – with customers across the retail, commercial property, events, healthcare and distribution sectors.
Over the last five years, NSS has made four acquisitions to expand its geographical footprint and specialisms, grow its fleet and enter new markets.
The deal creates a combined business employing 2,300 people across 47 sites and ensures enhanced national coverage for customers.
Liverpool-based nutritional snack company Nutry Nuts has received a cash injection as it looks to further expand its product range and sales reach.
Formed in 2016, the business was launched by brothers Tamas and Mario Niszler, who originally hail from Slovakia.
Following the success of its original product, the company has received a £70,000 loan from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, managed by MSIF in partnership with GC Business Finance and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
The funding which was supported by the governments Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) will be used to enable the business to meet increased demand for existing products and support the marketing and promotion of two new flavours, dark chocolate and white chocolate.
Manchester and Preston-based PAR Group, a manufacturer and supplier of engineering plastic, insulation and rubber products to customers in the UK, Europe and worldwide, has acquired Mountford Rubber and Plastics.
Advised by Manchester-based accountants and business advisors Beever and Struthers, PAR Group acquired Birmingham-based Mountford Rubber and Plastics for an undisclosed sum in a deal delayed by the pandemic.
Established more than 35 years ago and operating from centres at Junction 19 Industrial Park, Green Lane, Heywood, Greater Manchester and Chorley North Industrial Park, Chorley, Lancashire, PAR Group manufactures and supplies plastic, insulation and rubber products used by some of the world’s leading brands in industries including food and pharmaceutical, water treatment, brewing, chemical, mining and quarrying, aerospace, power generation, packaging, recycling and distribution.