Tuesday 16th July 2019
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 09/07/2019

Business activity picks up as region bucks the national trend

Private firms in the East of England bucked the national trend in June with a pick-up in business activity and whilst Brexit uncertainty has dimmed expectations they still expect output to increase over the next 12 months. The NatWest East of England business activity index rose above the neutral 50 mark to 51.3 in June, up from 49.7 in May. Whilst the UK saw a slight decline, total activity and new business in the region both increased for the first time in four months, generating the strongest employment growth seen since early-2018. New work rose in June and firms depleted their outstanding work further. But average prices charged by firms rose at the fastest rate in five months in June. John Maude, NatWest Midlands & East regional board, said: “The East of England was one of the top-performing areas of the UK in June, posting a recovery in output growth while the UK as a whole saw activity decline for the first time in nearly three years.”

Largest letting in Bury for 10 years as developer sells warehouse

Developer Jaynic has sold its SP147 logistics warehouse investment at Suffolk Park which has been let to Unipart in what is thought to be the largest letting deal in Bury for almost a decade. The developer is now looking at a further phase of warehouses on the site. The SP147 warehouse has been sold to The Charities Property Fund, managed by SavillsIM, for £17.25m on a net initial yield of 4.77 per cent. Meanwhile, the  147,000 sq ft unit has been let to Unipart on a 25-year lease at an agreed rent of £5.95 per sq ft. Ben Oughton, development director of Jaynic, said: “We are delighted to have concluded the sale of SP147. The sale and letting underpins the park’s prime location adjacent to the A14, just a mile from Junction 45, giving Unipart great links into the national motorway network. It also reinforces the region’s growing importance as a distribution hub and a mainstream location for institutional investors."

He added: “We took the decision 18 months ago to build two speculative warehouses in a region where there was virtually no supply but strong demand. As a result, we are now working up proposals for a further phase of warehouse units." Talks are underway with a number of parties on a 206,000 sq ft warehouse unit that remains available.

See Profile Suffolk Park

Collaborative deal creates MBO at repair management group

Andy and Louise Tunnicliffe have handed over Incident Management Solutions (IMS) to a new management team led by its current managing director Simon Young in an MBO which will incentivise the business to continue to do well. Established in 2006, Bedford-based IMS employs more than 80 staff and provides a range of tailored accident repair management services to major UK insurers. Andy and Louise Tunnicliffe will retain a minority shareholding in the company but cease their involvement in day-to-day operations to retire. Simon Young said: “Having been one of the founders of the business alongside Andy and Lou, I’m delighted to be leading the MBO along with my team. This secures the future and growth of the company, and we look forward to continuing to provide a high quality of service to our insurer customers, suppliers and vehicle owners”.

PEM Corporate Finance acted as lead advisers on the buyout. Lake Falconer said: “We’re pleased to have helped Andy and Lou achieve their exit from the business through this succession buyout led by their longstanding colleague Simon.  It’s a good example of how this type of collaborative deal can work well for all the stakeholders in a business.” Legal advice was provided by Adam Bradley and Lizzie Wilson of Taylor Vinters LLP.

Photo(l-r): Simon Young, Courtney Peat, James Kavanagh and Aleks Ilic.

See Profile PEM Corporate Finance

Awards for most active agent in Suffolk

Penn Commercial has won two industry awards in a national competition for the second year running. The Ipswich-based commercial property agent was named Estates Gazette’s 'most active agents for Suffolk'. In addition, Paul Keen won the accolade of dealmaker of the year for Suffolk. Principal Vanessa Penn said: “We’re a small team by national standards but we punch above our weight when it comes to results. We have a very pro-active work ethic and we use the most modern of technology and database management techniques to support our activities.This is our 12th year in business and we really do feel to be going from strength to strength. Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, business has held up well and it appears that companies still have the confidence to develop property, to expand and to relocate.”

She added: “Activity across all sectors remains steady with lack of stock, especially in the warehousing sector, pushing up rental values,” she added. “There’s pent up demand for large warehouses everywhere in and around Felixstowe.”

Photo(l-r): Wendy Hicks, Paul Keen and Vanessa Penn from Penn Commercial, and Ben Pollok, senior account manager EGi.

See Profile Penn Commercial

Trio of awards for agency in Cambridgeshire

Barker Storey Matthews, which is now part of Eddisons, had a trio of award successes in The Radius Data Exchange regional agency awards in Cambridge last week. Out of 12 regional awards Barker Storey Matthews won: most active agent, most active instructions and dealmaker. All were awarded in the category for Cambridgeshire where the firms has offices in Cambridge, Huntingdon and Peterborough. The dealmaker was Richard Jones of the agency’s Peterborough office. The agency had completed 50 per cent more transactions than any other competing agency in the Cambs category. Steve Hawkins, partner at Eddisons, said: “It’s a win for the agency, but this is only due to the efforts of each individual agent who all continue to work hard to keep us top of the property pile in the region and, specifically, in the high performing, high octane markets of Cambridgeshire.” The awards are organised by EGi and Estates Gazette.

Cambridge surgical firm wins 'disruptor' award

Martin Frost, CEO of Cambridge-based CMR Surgical, was named the ‘disruptor’ award winner at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 London & South East last week. CMR Surgical is a high-growth medical devices company which develops robotic devices for minimal access surgery which improve the recovery time for patients and achieve long-term cost savings. Mr Frost was commended by the judges for ‘building his product and proving his idea’, which has disrupted the market. The judges added that: ‘Martin will need to prove he can commercialise his product and can scale at the rate needed’. Stuart Wilkinson, EY’s entrepreneur of the year lead in the East, said: “In the East we have an enviable entrepreneurial community and businesses such as CMR Surgical create jobs, generate wealth and contribute to the continued economic growth of our region.”

International events set to give Cambridge a £3 million boost

Bids for international conferences and events are set to bring over 3,000 delegates to Cambridge over the next two years and generate new business with a local economic impact worth £3.2 million to the area. Meet Cambridge, the events bureau, reports recent confirmations for 14 high profile international meetings in the city. Cambridge was recently ranked one of the top ten cities in the UK for the number of international association events held in 2018. Judith Sloane, deputy manager at Meet Cambridge, said: "We are delighted that our region has won in these 14 cases, with at least five further international events up to 2024 currently in the pipeline." She added: "Most of these events are from the medical, technology and scientific sectors, for which Cambridge can deliver unique benefits in terms of tapping into the local expertise at our universities and the knowledge clusters at our science and technology parks."

Photo: The Meet Cambridge team (l-r): Leah Gibson, Laura Rayyan, Kelly Vickers, Amy Beschizza and Judith Sloane.

Recognition for inspiring Suffolk manufacturer

Growing Suffolk-based wood chipper manufacturer Timberwolf has been recognised as one of the ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ in the London Stock Exchange Group’s 2019 report. Stowmarket-based Timberwolf was chosen among a group of five businesses nationwide to represent the engineering and manufacturing sector. Timberwolf produces Europe’s best-selling sub 750kg wood chipper series – the TW 230PAHB and TW 230DHB – from its facility in Suffolk, which have played a major role in its 256 per cent increase in sales since 2013. Managing director Chris Perry : “Everyone at Timberwolf works incredibly hard to deliver unbeatable power and performance from every machine so it is a real boost for the whole team. We have grown considerably in both size and sales over the past few years, so are very proud to cement that growth with recognition on the national stage.”