Merger boom

Dickinson Dees, which has offices on Teesside and in Newcastle, has carried out more than £1.5bn of mergers and acquisition work in just six months.

Dickinson Dees, which has offices on Teesside and in Newcastle, has carried out more than £1.5bn of mergers and acquisition work in just six months. Individual transactions include a scheme of arrangement with Lookers plc worth £492m for Reg Vardy, followed by a mandatory takeover offer for Reg Vardy by Pendragon plc worth £506m. The law firm also advised on the £140m acquisition of Arriva Vehicle Rentals for Darlington-based Northgate.

Building up

THE world's biggest brick maker has bolstered its position in the UK with a deal worth £89.2m for the country's fourth biggest producer. Wienerberger said it will achieve nationwide coverage through the deal for Baggeridge Brick, which dates back to 1944 and employs 575 people at four manufacturing sites in the West Midlands and one in West Sussex. Vienna-based Wienerberger is currently the UK's third largest operator with sites at Cheadle, Stockport; Denton, Manchester; Sandown, Walsall; Ewhurst, Surrey; Smeed Dean, Kent; and Eldon and Todhills, County Durham.

Modern look

THE owner of the Poundstretcher chain has set out plans to "modernise and update" its stores as part of a review aimed at boosting profitability. Instore will remain focused on the value sector, while withdrawing from those sites that fail to meet expectations.

No bidders

HOUSEBUILDER Oakdene Homes, based in Reigate, Surrey, said it had not received any bid approaches, despite speculation of an offer from rival Gladedale.

In low gear

CAR manual publisher Haynes said a challenging market dogged by lower consumer spending and increased supply costs had dented profits.

The Yeovil-based company reported pre-tax profits for the year to May 31 fell to £8.3m from £9.2m after turnover slid 6% to £34.2m. Haynes boasts a 2,000 strong portfolio of books and DVDs on car and motorbike repair, as well as publications on subjects including camping, DIY and photography.

Sale go-ahead

GLASGOW-based Robert Wiseman Dairies has welcomed a decision not to refer its £5.5mn acquisition of Milk Link in Plymouth to the Competition Commission. The Office of Fair Trading was considering whether to refer the move to the commission. The sale is expected to be completed this week.

Right policy

WALSALL-based Homeserve has signed a five year agreement with FirstEnergy to market home emergency policies to 3.4 million US households in Ohio and Pennsylvania. It said the number of households it can now reach has grown from 1.4 million to 4.8 million.

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