Enterprise News

Inflexion takes FDM private

Mar 10 issue
Mid-market private equity firm Inflexion has acquired AIM-listed IT services company FDM Group for an enterprise value of £28.4 million.

Entrepreneur for sale

Mar 10 issue
After running three businesses, James Layfield has taken a radical step in order to raise finance for his fourth.

Flu vaccine specialist in further fundraising

Mar 10 issue
Immune Targeting Systems, a developer of vaccines for mutating viruses such as flu, has raised £8.65 million for initial clinical trials.

The lovely bones

Mar 10 issue
ApaTech, a specialist in bone repair technology, is to be sold for up to $330 million (£220 million) in a big win for its investors.

IPOs back on private equity agenda

Feb 10 issue
Private equity firms are once again looking to the stock market for exits, according to brokers.

Dealmakers club together

Feb 10 issue
Entrepreneurs are typically thought of as lone rangers who sink or swim based on their individual skills or luck. Andrew Romans, general partner of The Founders Club, has a slightly different notion.

Investors receive pocket change from Spinvox sale

Feb 10 issue
Voice-to-text conversion business Spinvox has been sold for $102.5 million (£63 million), less than the total amount of venture capital invested in the company.

Cleantech gets £18 million shot in the arm

Nov 09 issue
Start-ups and growth companies in the cleantech sector are set to benefit from additional funds being made available through the Carbon Trust.

Giraffe restaurants to expand with Tootsies deal

Nov 09 issue
Private equity-backed restaurant group Giraffe has agreed to purchase 11 outlets from bust burger chain Tootsies.

DFJ Esprit to manage 3i venture portfolio

Oct 09 issue
Private equity group 3i has sold off its stakes in several European-based technology businesses, which will now be managed by venture capital (VC) firm DFJ Esprit.

Capital for Enterprise Fund makes first investments

Sep 09 issue
The government’s Capital for Enterprise (CfE) Fund has made its first two investments, in systems integrator KeTech and enterprise software company Vamosa

Daisy joins AIM via reverse takeover

Jul/Aug 09 issue
Business-to-business telecoms provider Daisy Communications is joining AIM following the reverse takeover of Freedom4 Group

NorthStar backing for gaming platform developer

Jun 09 issue
Gaming specialist Antix has received $3 million (£1.8 million) from investors including NorthStar Equity Investors (NSEI) and Hotspur Capital.

Metals production company in £5 million VC round

Jun 09 issue
South Yorkshire-based Metalysis has attracted £5.1 million in venture capital (VC) funding to ramp up production of tantalum and titanium.

Wellington invests more in Experteer

Jun 09 issue
Venture capital firm Wellington Partners is investing a further €8 million (£7 million) in high-end job service Experteer to aid the company’s international expansion.

Business and the Budget

May 09 issue
Alistair Darling’s second Budget promised support to struggling industries and emerging technologies, but is it enough? We asked six readers of Business XL for their verdicts

Purple Labs backers find exit

May 09 issue
French mobile phone software company Purple Labs is being acquired by Swiss-based Esmertec, providing an exit for the company’s venture capital (VC) backers

Dublin drug company raises €18 million

Mar 09 issue
Opsona Therapeutics, a drug development company based in Dublin, has completed a Series B round of funding

Buoyant IT sector defies downturn 

Dec 08/Jan 09 issue
There’s good news for growing IT companies with scant signs of a slowdown among the industry’s heavy hitters

Hoping for healthy returns

Nov 08 issue
Ron Petersen and Edward Rudd, partners at healthcare investor Longbow Capital, are in pretty upbeat mood

NVM backs ex-Ithaca management team

Oct 08 issue
The former management team of Ithaca Business Media has secured £7 million from NVM Private Equity to fund a new business. CloserStill Holdings has been created to purchase mid-sized exhibitions and event businesses, which the management team believes it can sell on to larger players.

Lenders to the stars

Sep 08 issue
Private bank Investec has launched a lending service for sportspeople, musicians and other celebrities. Typically loans are in excess of £2 million

US cash seeks ambitious AIM companies

Jun 08 issue
We find that some companies, once they have listed on AIM, become aim-less,’ quips Paul Strzelecki, partner at Yorkville Advisers and head of the US firm’s recently opened UK office.

Seeing the silver lining

May 08 issue
Ashish Patel, MD at venture capital (VC) investor Intel Capital, believes that Europe still offers good opportunities for early-stage technology investment, despite evidence of a slowdown in activity at the smaller end of the market.

Reactions to the Budget

Apr 08 issue
A new rate of capital gains tax (CGT), a proposal to hand more government contracts to growing businesses, and female entrepreneurs have a special fund of their own. We ask entrepreneurs and business advisers what they think of Alistair Darling’s maiden Budget

Tech fund raises $500 million

Feb 08 issue
Investcorp Technology Partners (ITP), a private equity investor in technology businesses, has closed a new $500 million fund, bringing its total assets under management to $1 billion.

Doug Richard: American dream

Dec 07/Jan 08 issue
With a passion for growing businesses and an intellect to match, Californian entrepreneur and business angel Doug Richard has quickly become a champion of entrepreneurship in the UK. He talks to Nick Britton about how British business could be made better

Flotation for stem cell venture

Nov 07 issue
Cryo-Save Group, a company that collects and stores adult stem cells for use in stem cell therapy, has raised £26.5 million in its initial public offering (IPO) on AIM. The company’s market capitalisation at the placing price of 210p per share is £101.2 million.

Fidelity has $500 million to spend

Oct 07 issue
Nick Martin, a veteran of HG Capital and 3i, describes the new mid-market investment outfit he’s leading, Fidelity Equity Partners (FEP), as ‘a greenfield start up’.

Virtual tax

Sep 07 issue
Online gamers who participate in virtual worlds such as Second Life could find themselves hit by unexpected tax bills, according to Mark Simpson, director at chartered accountant Simpson Burgess Nash. Second Life alone has nine million users, and an economy that has grown from $64 million (£31.5 million) in September 2006 to almost $600 million today.

Good intentions

Sep 07 issue
An overwhelming number of companies say they take environmental and corporate responsibility (ECR) seriously, with 99 per cent rating it as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ in comparison with other issues, according to a survey by accountancy firm Grant Thornton.

Beringea backs new restaurant chain

Sep 07 issue
VCT manager Beringea has invested £1.7 million to support the expansion of Coal Restaurants, an emerging restaurant brand with one outlet in Wimbledon and others under development. The money is from the ProVen VCT and the ProVen Growth & Income VCT.

Funding for emissions monitoring business

Sep 07 issue
Lysanda, a developer of systems that measure pollutants emitted by vehicles, has received £1 million of equity funding from a mixture of public and private investors.

Tenon makes it a hat trick

Jul/Aug 07 issue
Accountancy and advisory firm Tenon Group has made its third acquisition in 30 days after buying Unity, which specialises in recovery and insolvency services. The deal could be worth £13 million.

IPT buys French company

Jun 07 issue
A British company has strengthened its presence in the European online marketing sector after completing the acquisition of French email marketing business NP6 from its management.

Buy-out blues

May 07 issue
Less than 30 per cent of management teams stay together after a buy-out, claims Tim Levett, a partner at private equity firm NVM.

Putting a price on mind games

Dec 06/Jan 07 issue
When it comes to buying and selling, most people believe if you ask for more, you will get more. As a result, people expect that setting a high starting price will always bring them a higher final price. This, however, is not necessarily the case.

Angels send out mixed messages

Dec 06/Jan 07 issue
Business angels in the UK are pleased by the present level of innovation from entrepreneurs and remain buoyant about market activity, a survey by London Business School has found, although the perennial difficulty remains in finding people who can turn a business idea into a commercial reality.

Capital pot for aspiring tech companies

Dec 06/Jan 07 issue
E-Synergy, an investment company, has completed a funding arrangement for its £30 million Sustainable Technology Fund just six months after being awarded the management contract by the Department for Trade and Industry.

Microsoft aims small

Dec 06/Jan 07 issue
An online presence is now as important for a small, fast-growing company as it is for a large corporate and, in recognition of this need, Microsoft has launched Office Live in the UK. It gives businesses the chance to design a website for free.

Banks can do better, says FPB

Dec 06/Jan 07 issue
The quality of service provided to businesses by banks is rising, claims Nick Goulding, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business (FPB), but there is still scope for improvement.

A creativity gap?

Dec 06/Jan 07 issue
A company devoid of the inspirational spark is likely to be an ephemeral organism in the business biosphere, or maybe not, according to research conducted by the Arts Council England and digital imaging outfit, Canon UK.

OxTox secures £600,000

Dec 06/Jan 07 issue
OxTox, an Oxford-based cannabis testing company, has received £600,000 in its first investment round. The proceeds will fund the production of handheld drug testing kits for the police when testing drivers.

Women fighting harder for success

Dec 06/Jan 07 issue
Female entrepreneurs are still having to fight harder than male counterparts to achieve success in the workplace due to gender-based inequalities, new research has found.