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Mergers & Acquisitions - 1997
BP Chemicals is acquiring Styrenix Kunststoffe, the styrene plastics business, from Veba of Germany for about £120m, which will give it extra production capacity to help it expand globally.
GKN is to acquire a 95% stake in Armstong Wheel & Rim Manufacturing, the US maker of parts for off-road vehicles, for £31m, and will buy the remaining 5% within 12 months.
Harrisons & Crosfield has acquired Rheox, the US maker of additives for industrial coatings, for £280m, thereby completing its transformation into a chemicals company.
Micro Focus is acquiring XDB Systems, the US provider of tools for the DB2 database standard, for about £8m.
Firth Rixson, the specialist engineer, is acquiring Barworth Flockton and Moss & Gamble Brothers from Barworth for £12m.
Critchley Group, the maker of cable components, is acquiring Groupe Riondet-Malbert of France for £7.8m.
Reed Elsevier is to acquire Editions Prat, the French legal publisher, for undisclosed terms.
Starwood Lodging Trust, the US hotels group, has bought Turnberry Hotel Golf Courses and Spa in Scotland from Nitto Kogyo for £32m.
Lloyds TSB is selling International Factors, the US-based provider of factoring and invoice discounting services, to BNY Financial Corp and expects to make a £160m profit on the deal.
Wilshaw, the metals and building materials company, is planning to sell its distribution division to a new company called Tractiv Holdings for £22m.
First Call, the ticketing agency, has accepted a £7.3m takeover offer from KanDo, a subsidiary of Loyalty Management Holdings.
Sears has sold 44 Shoe City outlets to Brantano of Belgium for an initial £6m, but 39 other shops are being closed.
European Leisure has sold Maygay, the gaming machine manufacturer, back to its original owner for £16.5m.
ICI has sold its International Explosives operations in Canada, Latin America and Europe, as well as its distribution businesses in the US, to Orica for £230m, which completes its exit from explosives.
ABN Amro of the Netherlands is acquiring the Australian and New Zealand equity investment banking operations of BZW from Barclays Bank for about £71m.
TI Group is acquiring Sealol, the mechanical seals business, from EG&G of the US for £61m, and will sell its Belfab metal bellows operation to EG&G for $45m.
Betterware, the door-to-door shopping company, has accepted a £117m takeover offer from NatWest Equity Partners which will take the company private.
Skillsgroup is selling Nordic Datadistribution, its Swedish PC distributor, to Atle for £10m, in order to focus on its IT training consultancy.
Johnston Press is acquiring Home Counties Newspapers, the family-controlled publisher of the Hampstead and Highgate Express, for £52m.
Southern Newspapers has acquired Bailey Newspaper Group, the Gloucestershire-based regional newspaper publisher, for £35m.
Austin Reed is to acquire Country Casuals, the troubled clothing retailer, for £26m.
Credit Commercial de France is acquiring a 50% stake in Charterhouse, the UK merchant bank, from BHF of Germany for undisclosed terms, which will give it complete control.
Bupa has acquired Care First, the nursing homes operator, in a deal that values the company at £273m and will help Bupa build up a national network of healthcare services.
BNFL, the fuel reprocessor, and Magnox Electric, the nuclear power station operator, have merged to complete the restructuring of the UK nuclear industry, and about 10% of their combined workforce of 16,000 could be lost.
Stagecoach has acquired South Yorkshire Supertram, which operates around Sheffield, for £1.15m.
Rolls-Royce has sold International Combustion, its boiler manufacturing business, to ABB for a sum thought to be less than £10m, but will retain the Derby factory to make components for ABB and other companies.
Thomson has acquired Fritidsresor, the Swedish tour operator, for $425m as part of its strategy to build an international business.
Manders, the printing inks company, has agreed to a £100m acquisition by Flint Ink of the US, as it has been unable to compete with its larger international rivals.
BTP is selling its adhesives and textile coatings business to Total of France for £86m, and will use the proceeds to acquire fine chemicals companies.
ICI is to sell its methylamines business to Air Products of the US for £67m.
Hambros has agreed the sale of its banking business to Societe Generale of France for £300m, and the rest of its business will be wound down.
Hambros has sold its corporate loan business to Generale de Banque of Belgium for a sum thought to be less than £10m.
National Express has bought Group Bronckaers, the Belgian bus operator with 104 vehicles, for up to £4.2m.
Doncasters, the Derby-based engineering company, has launched a £194m recommended takeover bid for Triplex Lloyd, the castings company, and intends to sell Triplex's automotive division.
Lonsdale Holdings has acquired Belgo, the London restaurant group, for £9.8m, and will change its name to Belgo Group.
Lonrho has sold Dutton-Forshaw, the franchised vehicle dealership, to a management team named Tanel for £113m.
Hutchison Ports (Europe) is acquiring Thamesport on the Isle of Grain from Rutland Trust for £112m, and the port could now be expanded to handle 1.5m containers a year.
Bowthorpe has acquired Western Pacific Data Systems, the Californian logistics software designer, for up to £38m.
Cenargo Fast Ferries has launched a £14.9m bid to acquire Scruttons, the shipping, engineering and security services company.
United Industries is to acquire Neepsend, the engineering company, for £13.8m.
Peter Black Holdings has acquired Ferrosan UK, the diet supplements company, from its Danish parent for £35m.
Bass is selling 1,190 leased pubs and 238 managed pubs to a management buy-in team for £564m, and now has at least £1.5bn to spend on acquisitions.
John Crane Marine, the TI subsidiary, is acquiring the marine seal business of EG&G of the US for £2.5m.
Andrews Sykes, the heating and pumps company, has acquired RCR of Buckinghamshire for £3.4m.
Alchemy Partners, the venture capital company, is to acquire Wellman, the specialist engineer, for £73m in order to take the company private and enable it to be restructured away from the demands of the public market.
Charles Taylor is to acquire Richards Hogg, the marine average adjuster and claims consultant, for up to £11m.
Bass has sold its Gala bingo chain to a management buy-in for £279m, and the plan is to float the business within five years.
Sears has sold its Shoe Express retailing chain for £8.3m to a former chairman of Amber Day who plans to retain 185 of the shops and close the remaining 136.
Waste Recycling has acquired East Waste, the Cambridgeshire County Council waste disposal company, for £11.9m.
South West Water is acquiring Terry Adams, the landfill waste disposal company, for up to £105m, which is expected to make the utility the largest landfill operator in the UK.
Arlen is acquiring Plasmec, the electrical and electronic components manufacturer, for £11m.
Morgan Crucible is acquiring four bolt-on acquisitions for £32m, including a German manufacturer of engineered ceramics, a Texas-based supplier of piston rings, an Italian ceramics distributor, and a 51% stake in a refractories company in Argentina.
Caterpillar of the US is to acquire the Perkins diesel engine business from LucasVarity for £800m, which will enable LucasVarity to make acquisitions in the aerospace and automotive sectors.
S Daniels is acquiring New Covent Garden Soup Company, the supplier of fresh soups to supermarkets, for about £24m.
Old Mutual of South Africa is to acquire Capel Cure Myers Capital Management, the UK private client stockbroker, for undisclosed terms.
TI Group is to sell its 50% stake in Messier-Dowty, the landing gear business, to Snecma, its joint venture partner, for £207m.
Arriva, previously known as Cowie, is acquiring London Coaches, the operator of the Original London Sightseeing Tour, from Pullmans for £5m.
CB Commercial Real Estate Services of the US is to acquire the international operation of the Richard Ellis estate agency, while the UK side of the business is being merged with Insignia.
Norwich Union has acquired Premium Search, the telephone-based motor and household insurance broker, for £17m.
Ginger Productions is acquiring Virgin Radio for £85m, thereby preventing Capital Radio from succeeding with its £87m bid.
Yule Catto is acquiring Holliday Chemical, the drugs and dyes specialist, for £255m.
Tesco is to sell Catteau, its French supermarket chain, to Promodes for £225m, due to slow sales growth and difficulties in obtaining planning permission to open more stores.
Readicut is to sell European Carpets, its carpets manufacturing business, to Interface of the US for £30m, and it is now looking for buyers for its UK yarn spinning business and its US carpet business.
Harrisons & Crosfield has sold Edward Baker Petfoods to Ralston Purina Company of the US for £106m, in order to focus on its core speciality chemicals business.
US Industries has acquired Spear & Jackson, the tools manufacturer, from Apax Partners for over £57m.
FI Group is acquiring IIS Infotech, the Indian software house, for £22m.
Great Universal Stores is acquiring Innovations, the mail-order gadgets company, for £20m, which represents a first major move away from agency mail order towards dealing directly with customers.
Racal Electronics is selling its Health & Safety face-masks business to 3M for £43m, as part of a strategy to focus on its core electronics and defence activities.
Full Circle Industries is selling its Selecta bathroom products business for up to £5.6m in order to focus on kitchen and bedroom home improvements.
TI Group is acquiring a 30% stake in Lips United, the Dutch marine propulsion group, for £7m and has an option to buy the remaining 70%.
Morris Ashby, the automotive castings company, is being acquired by Automotive Components Investments of the US for £49m.
Alexon and Electra Fleming are forming a joint venture to acquire Dolcis, the chain of 106 shoe stores, from Sears for £1.6m.
Dawson Holdings is acquiring Johnsons News, the newspaper and magazine wholesaling business, for £32m, giving it about 20% of the market.
Liverpool Victoria is to acquire Landmark's motor and household insurance business from AIG of the US, in a deal worth about £50m.
NatWest has sold most of the equities operations of NatWest Markets for £179m in a deal with Bankers Trust and Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, and the remaining operations will be closed.
Ocean Group is acquiring a 67% stake in Intexo, the Dutch logistics company, for undisclosed terms, and is looking to acquire additional companies for up to £50m.
Low & Bonar is selling its European polyethylene film business to British Polythene Industries for £7.7m, and also announced a £13m restructuring of its UK carton and North American plastic sack businesses.
NatWest Equity Partners has acquired Artform, the point-of-sale display company, for £38m.
Kewill Systems is to acquire Exeter Software, the US supplier of warehouse management systems, for an initial £8m.
Cleveland Trust is acquiring March Estates, the industrial property company, for £6.8m in order to help it expand into new developments and joint ventures.
Tecno Holdings has been set up to acquire Era's chain of 26 Tecno camera and camcorder shops for up to £5.9m.
Vardon has sold its bingo division to a management buy-out for £30m, which will allow it to expand its health and fitness operations.
Polypipe has acquired Gabo Systemtechnik, the German maker of plastic plumbing and ducting systems, from Thyssen Polymer for £6m.
Avon Rubber is acquiring Zatec, the US maker of cleaning blades for fax machines and printers, for £7.5m.
Galliford is acquiring Midas Homes, the south-west England housebuilder, for £4.6m.
Redland has agreed terms for a £1.8bn takeover by Lafarge, the French building materials company, having decided that a complete sale would be preferable to selling parts of the business following the decline in the UK stockmarket.
Jardine Lloyd Thompson is acquiring Colburn French & Kneen Holdings, the Lloyds broker that specialises in marine insurance, for £5.25m.
Britton Group, the plastics and packaging company, has agreed to a £198m takeover offer from ACX of the US.
Datrontech is acquiring International Computer Products, the Dutch distributor of components and peripherals, for £7.9m.
Senior Engineering is to acquire Metal Fab Machine Corporation, the US maker of welded metal bellows, for £11m.
David Brown is acquiring Union Pumps Company, the US pumps concern, for £38m.
Alfred McAlpine is selling its Hall & Tawse contracting business to Mansell for £20m, in order to focus on housebuilding, civil engineering and special projects.
ICI is selling its UK fertiliser business, which includes 580 people at Billingham, to Terra Industries of the US for an initial £200m.
Powell Duffryn has sold Eurogas, its liquefied heating fuel subsidiary, to Calor Gas for £13.5m.
Unichem is to merge with Alliance Sante Luxembourg in a £300m deal, creating the second-largest pharmaceuticals wholesaler in Europe.
Concentric has sold the non-satellite part of its Pressed Products subsidiary to European Commercial Pressings of the US for £7m.
Merrill Lynch of the US has bid £3.1bn for Mercury Asset Management, an offer that would create one of the largest fund management groups in the world.
Taylor Nelson AGB is to acquire Sofres, the French market information company, for £119m, in order to improve the market research services offered to multinational companies.
Siebe is selling Wells Electronics, the US maker of semiconductor testing equipment, to PCD for £77m.
Greenway Holdings, the oil recycling company, has acquired Lanstar's hydrocarbons division for £1.2m, in order to increase its feedstock levels.
Emap is acquiring medical magazines and exhibitions from Macmillan Magazines at a cost of £102m.
Cambridge Technology Partners of the US is acquiring Peter Chadwick Holdings, the UK-based IT consultancy, for about £77m.
Sinclair Montrose is acquiring Premiere Group, the healthcare recruitment agency, for £10.7m.
United Biscuits is selling its snacks businesses in Australia and France to PepsiCo, in return for Biscuiterie Nantaise, PepsiCo's French biscuit business, and £241m.
Allied Signal of the US is acquiring Holt Lloyd, the car care products company, for £95m.
M-R Group has acquired PCL Group, the information supplier, for £4.5m.
Ascot has sold Sagar Richards, the automotive gearbox components business, to Valeo of France for £8m.
FKI is selling its automotive division, which makes components for carmakers, to a management team called Trident Automotive for £92.5m.
Barclays is selling its European equities and corporate advisory operations to Credit Suisse First Boston for £100m.
Etam, the womenswear retailer, is to be acquired by Etam Developpement of France for £93m, and the revamp of the 214 stores will continue.
Timothy Benn Publishing, which prints the Post Magazine, is being sold to a management buy-in for £17m.
Ransomes, the engineering company that supplies grass-cutting equipment to golf courses, is being acquired by Textron of the US for £83m, and Textron is planning to expand the Ipswich factory.
FirstBus is to acquire a 51% stake in Bristol International Airport for £40m, and will help fund a £25m terminal that will increase capacity from 1.8m to 3m a year.
The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) is planning to acquire the British School of Motoring for £54m, which would give it access to new members as they pass their driving tests.
Friends Provident, the mutual life assurer, has announced a reverse takeover of Ivory & Sime, the fund manager, in a £132m deal that will result in the creation of a group called Friends Ivory & Sime.
Albert Fisher has sold Roem, its Dutch seafood operation, to a management team for £21m, and will use the proceeds to buy back some of its shares in a capital restructuring.
BTR is to sell its US seals and shielding systems business, its hosing and belting businesses, and a number of small industrial businesses to a management-led venture called Unipoly, in a £515m disposal that will help it focus on engineering.
Motorcycle City, the chain of motorcycle dealers, has been sold to a management buy-out with the support of venture capitalist Electra Fleming for undisclosed terms.
Sanderson Bramall is acquiring Charles Sidney, the Mercedes-Benz distributor, in a £37m deal that will improve its geographical coverage and increase its representation in prestige marques.
Wolseley, the heating and pumping equipment company, has sold Hunterskil Howard, its contract staff placement business, to AccuStaff for £45m.
Lonrho has sold Cramlington Textiles to Woodrow Wilson Investments for a notional price.
Hays has acquired DEI, the document management company, for an initial £17m, in order to expand its range of back-office support services.
Cookson has sold Anzon, its fire-retardant additives business, to Great Lakes Chemical Corp of the US for £54m.
Vickers is to sell its medical businesses, including Airshields, Medelec, TECA and Medical Industrial Equipment, to Hillenbrand of the US for a price expected to be about £75m.
Meyer International is acquiring 22 tool-hire and catering equipment hire branches from Torex for £10m.
Scottish Power has sold Greenhill Enterprises, the landfill and mineral extraction company acquired with Southern Water in 1996, to Haul Waste Group, the South West Water subsidiary, for £10.6m.
Finelist has acquired Wheels Motor Factors, the car parts business, for £6.8m.
Eadie Holdings is selling Ross & Bonnyman, its mechanical handling equipment division, to Ledge 345, a company formed for the purpose, for £8.2m.
British Aerospace and Daimler-Benz are linking up to acquire Siemens' defence operations for about £420m, a move which will give BAe a role in the Archer consortium that is developing a new communications system for the armed forces.
Visual Action, the corporate presentations company, is being acquired by Carabiner of the US.
Pentland is selling Holmes, its US electrical goods business, to Berkshire Partners for about £104m, and will use the proceeds to invest in branded sportswear and leisurewear.
Vacu-Blast, the air-blasting machinery concern, has been resold to US Filter for £8m by Kleinwort Benson Development Capital.
Broomco, the subsidiary of International Mezzanine Investment, has acquired Graystone's engineering division for £18m.
Cadbury Schweppes is to acquire La Pie Qui Chante, the French sugar sweets maker, from Danone for undisclosed terms, a move which will make it the third largest confectionery company in France.
Gardner Merchant Services has acquired Lawson Beaumont, the events catering company, from Break for the Border for £2.5m.
Photobition is acquiring Novo, the distributor of films to airlines and studios, for £28m with the intention of converting the films into a digital format.
Protean, the water filtering equipment company, is to be acquired by Culligan Water Technologies of the US for £105m.
Morgan Crucible has acquired four companies for a total £10m - MH Detrick, the high temperature insulating products company, ETS Schaefer, Reineke's fine graphite operation, and Ringsdorff Carbon's electrical carbon business.
Baker Tilly is to merge with Casson Beckman to create the 13th largest accountancy firm in the UK.
Beauford has acquired Allied Insulators, the electrical insulator, from Fairey Group for an initial £8m, as Fairey continues to refocus its activities in the ceramics sector.
Budgens has acquired the 7-Eleven convenience store chain from Jardine Matheson for £5.8m.
General Accident has acquired Canadian General Insurance Group for £270m, increasing its share of the Canadian market from under 7% to 10%.
NatWest Group has sold NatWest Sellier Patrimoine and NatWest Sellier Gestion, the French investment management businesses, to Banque Bruxelles Lambert France for undisclosed terms.
Unilever has acquired Kibon, the largest ice cream maker in Brazil, from Philip Morris for £570m, and will use the business as its ice cream "innovation centre" in Latin America.
Avebury Inns, a new company with financial backing from Daiwa Europe, is planning to acquire 147 pubs from Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries for £16.4m, and hopes to follow this up with the purchase of more pub groups.
MWB Leisure Fund has bought the Bentley Bridge Leisure Park in Wolverhampton for £17.3m, and is now said to be the UK's largest owner of leisure parks.
KPMG and Ernst & Young are planning a merger that will create the largest accountancy firm in the world, although the move could prompt regulators to take an even closer look at the merger between Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse.
Standard & Poor's of the US is acquiring Micropal, the UK mutual funds data provider, for undisclosed terms, which will help it provide a one-stop solution to the fund industry.
Crystal Holidays, the holiday operator, has been acquired by a management team backed by BZW Private Equity, in a £150m deal.
Cirqual is acquiring BWMP, the electronics company that makes a complex multilayer printed circuit board, for up to £36.4m.
BTR is to acquire Exide Electronics, the US supplier of uninterruptible power-supply systems, for £360m.
Guinness and Grand Metropolitan have received European Commission approval for their planned £24bn merger, on the condition that they sell their Dewar's and Ainslie's whisky brands in Europe and make some changes to their distribution agreements.
Sun Life & Provincial is to sell its 83% stake in New Ireland, the Irish life assurance concern, to the Bank of Ireland for £190m.
Delta's plumbing products division has acquired National Vulcan Safety Products from Royal & Sun Alliance for £4.5m.
Carbo has sold the foundry business of its Bryan Donkin Engineering subsidiary to a private investor group for £2m, in order to focus on industrial abrasives.
Tesco has acquired Sanders Supermarkets, the operator of two supermarkets in Somerset, for £4.9m.
Gresham Trust has acquired Penny & Giles Instrumentation, the paperless process chart recorders business, from Bowthorpe for £4.75m.
Reed Elsevier is planning a £17.5bn merger with Wolters Kluwer of Amsterdam, creating the world's largest professional and scientific publisher with combined sales of about £5bn.
Zurich Group of Switzerland is planning to acquire BAT Industries' financial services companies, including Eagle Star and Allied Dunbar, which are valued at almost £10bn.
Meyer International is acquiring Harcros, the builders' merchant, from Harrisons & Crosfield for over £300m, making it the largest builders' merchant in the UK.
Jardine International Motor of Hong Kong is to acquire Appleyard Group for £55m, creating the largest motor dealer in the UK.
Brent Walker is selling the William Hill betting shop chain to Nomura of Japan for £700m, and will now put itself into liquidation as William Hill was its last big asset.
Sixt of Germany is to acquire European Car Rental of the UK, and will expand the business from eight to 50 offices as it launches a major assault on the UK market.
British Airways is to sell its Heathrow in-flight catering operation to Gate Gourmet, part of the Swissair group, for £65m.
Johnston Press has acquired North Derbyshire Newspapers for undisclosed terms.
Plettac of Germany is acquiring a majority stake in NSG Services, the UK scaffolding company, for undisclosed terms, and will use the acquisition as a springboard to introduce its prefabricated systems into the UK.
IMI has acquired Herion-Werke, the German pneumatic controls company, for £38m, and hopes to benefit from selling its other products to Herion's customers.
H&C Furnishings has launched a £48m agreed offer for Kingsbury, giving it an additional 79 furniture shops.
RMC has acquired BDC Concrete Products, the maker of concrete paving stones, from British Dredging for £2.9m.
Hall Engineering is selling Improved Marking & Label Company, the maker of labels and name plates, to a new company called Inhoco 648 for £3m.
Rentokil Initial has sold United Transport Tankers of the Netherlands to Den Hartogh for £4m.
Milk Marque has acquired Aeron Valley Cheese, the south Wales cheese producer, for under £10m, but the move has been described as an "abuse of monopoly power" by the Dairy Industry Federation.
Concentric has acquired Truflo Air Movement, the impeller maker, from Charles Baynes for £9.3m.
Kier Group has acquired FM Contract Services, the building maintenance company, for an initial £4.5m.
Bandt, the scaffolding company, has acquired Fincham Industrial Services for £2.6m.
Hambros has acquired Blue Green, the French-based golf course owner, through its HEV venture capital operation for £13.6m.
IAWS, the Irish flour and feeds concern, has acquired Cuisine de France, the specialist breads manufacturer that serves retailers in the UK and Ireland, for £46m.
Deltron Electronics is acquiring Freber Electronik Leasing, the Swedish electronic components distributor, for £4.3m.
Holt Lloyd has acquired the Simoniz car care products business from Burmah Castrol for £7m.
Aurora Group has acquired Cromdane, the steel bar supplier, from Carclo Engineering for £4.4m.
L Gardner has acquired Avon Transmission Services from Ascot Holdings for £2m.
Tomkins has acquired Golden West Foods, the producer of hamburger buns, syrups and ketchup, for £70m.
Maybridge Chemical Company of Cornwall is being acquired by a management team backed by 3i in a £20m deal.
Avesco is acquiring 94% of Jongenelen Holdings, the Dutch giant screen rental company, for up to £2.3m.
Jacobs Holdings has acquired Tiptoe, the car transportation company, for £2.7m.
McLeod Russel is acquiring Infiltro, the Spanish air filtration company, for up to £2.4m.
GMBM, the recruitment advertising agency, has been acquired by a management team from Osprey Communications for about £1m.
NatWest Equity Partners has acquired Starpoint, the supplier of amusement machine parts, from Bowthorpe for £18.5m.
Pearson has acquired All American, the US TV production company, for £233m, and now claims that its Pearson TV subsidiary is the largest international producer of entertainment and serial drama.
Airtours is acquiring Sun International, the Belgian package holiday company which owns the Cresta Travel and Bridge Travel brands in the UK, for £70m.
Quicks is acquiring Caverdale's 24 car dealerships for £45m, giving it its first Volvo, Jaguar and Lotus franchises and increasing its presence in the south and the Midlands.
Ascot has sold Presto Engineers Cutting Tools to Kennametal of the US for £15m, and will use the proceeds to cut borrowings.
Acatos & Hutcheson has acquired Leon Frenkel, the edible oil bottler, for £8m.
Hillsdown is selling seven food products and packaging businesses to Cinven, the venture capital concern, for £53.6m, following its decision to exit from red meat and focus on poultry, chilled and ambient foods.
Compel, the computer services company, is acquiring Abtex Systems for up to £4.5m.
Cordiant, the advertising group, has announced plans for a demerger, which will result in two separate companies - Saatchi & Saatchi and Cordiant Communications Group, which will own the Bates agency.
Soccer Investments is to acquire Leicester City football club for £24m, and will change its name to Leicester City.
Hogg Robinson has sold its transport division to management for about £16m.
Semple Cochrane is acquiring two Scottish marine engineering companies - Garvel Clyde for £1.9m and Forth Estuary Engineering for £2.5m.
Canada Life is acquiring the UK insurance operations of Metropolitan Life for about £175m, making it one of the top 20 life and pensions companies in the UK.
Books etc, the book retailer, is to be acquired by Borders Group of the US for about £40m, a move which will enable it to continue with plans to set up a chain of superstores.
BG is to sell Pipeline Integrity International, its pipeline maintenance business, to Mercury Asset Management for undisclosed terms.
Shaker, a subsidiary of the ETI telecoms group, is acquiring Interoute Telecommunications, the telecoms operator, for about £25m.
Benfield is acquiring Greig Fester, the rival re-insurance company, for £120m.
Glynwed International has sold its foundry business, which makes cast iron pipes, to Saint Gobain of France for £37m.
Alvis is acquiring Hagglunds Vehicle, the Swedish armoured vehicle maker, from Incentive for £75m.
Charles Baynes is acquiring the Univalve distribution business from Tomkins for £38m, as part of a strategy to focus on distribution and sell its aerospace and truck engine fan manufacturing operations.
Shell Oil is acquiring Tejas Gas, the gas pipeline, processing and storage company that operates in Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana, for £900m.
Siebe has bought Appliance Control Operations, the French-based controls and automation products company, from Eaton Corporation for £193m.
GE Capital is acquiring Credit Lyonnais's 54% stake in Woodchester, the Irish leasing company, in a deal that values Woodchester at £540m.
Powerscreen has acquired Moffett Engineering, the Irish mobile fork lift trucks company, for £21m.
Metsin, a new company set up by Alchemy Partners, is planning to acquire Instem, the electronics and information systems company, for about £9.8m.
Securicor is to sell the consumer and small business subscriber bases of Securicor Cellular Services to Cellnet, in which it has a 40% stake, for £38m, and has also announced the sale of Securicor 3net to Teltrend of the US for £9m.
ICI has sold ICI Forest Products, the Canadian maker of chemical products for the pulp and paper industry, to Pioneer Companies of the US for £150m, as part of its strategy to dispose of its low-margin bulk chemicals operations.
Granada has sold its computer services business, Granada Computer Services, to a management buy-out for £89m.
London & Overseas Freighters, the tanker group based in Bermuda and listed in London, is preparing to merge with Frontline, the Norwegian shipping company.
Westminster Healthcare is acquiring Libra Health Care for £22.8m, and is selling Libra's New Hall Hospital, which specialises in plastic surgery, to Community Hospitals for £8m.
Blue Circle Industries has sold Ockley Brick to Chelwood Brick for £14.4m in order to focus more on its core cement business.
Rentokil Initial has acquired two security companies, Trojan Security and Sigma, for £13.2m.
Nomura, the Japanese investment bank, is acquiring Inntrepreneur Pub Company, the joint venture between Grand Metropolitan and Foster's, and the Spring Inns chain, for £1.2bn.
Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse are planning a merger which would create the largest accountancy firm in the world, but the move is likely to face an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.
Premier Asset Management is acquiring Fleethope and Fleetlynx, the fund management operations, from Fraser Smith for £2.8m.
CRH of Ireland is acquiring CPM, the US producer of aggregates, concrete and asphalt, for £59m, and says it will continue to look for more bolt-on acquisitions in the US building materials sector.
Munich Re has acquired Apollo Underwriting, the Lloyd's managing agency that specialises in marine insurance, for about £3m.
Virgin Group has bought out most of its joint venture partners to create a new Virgin Entertainment Group, and now plans to develop its music megastores in the US and open 15 new UK cinemas over the next two years.
International Maritime Group has acquired Stephenson Clarke Shipping, the Tyneside ship-owner, for £47m, and plans to develop into the largest integrated maritime transport group in Europe.
T&S Stores has launched a £42.8m recommended cash offer for M&W, the chain of 179 convenience stores.
BBA Group is selling its Haefely Trench high voltage power transmission products business to a management team supported by CVC Capital Partners for £164m.
Cypher Group has been created to acquire Library Services (UK) from Blackwell and Morley Books and Greenhead Books from Johnston Press, for a total consideration of £7.5m, making it the leading supplier of library books.
Amec has acquired Babcock International's process division excluding Water Engineering and BKW Eagleton for a nominal £1, and Babcock will take an exceptional charge of £18.6m.
GE Capital has acquired Stalwart Group, the specialist insurance company, for £43m.
Morland has acquired Ruddles, the real ale brewery, from Grolsch for £8.4m.
John Lusty is to acquire Wunderbar, the luxury snacks company, funded by the £2.3m raised from a rights issue.
4Front has acquired Firstpoint, the computer maintenance business, from Stratagem for an initial £2.5m.
Care UK, the provider of nursing home services, has acquired Care Solutions and Homebridge for £4m.
WPP is to acquire Buchanan Communications, the public relations company, for up to £15m.
Waste Recycling Group is buying Finstop, the Yorkshire-based landfill and quarrying company that trades as Dorrington, for £14.5m.
Gartland Whalley and Barker has acquired General Clutch Corporate of the US and its RollEase trading subsidiary for £18m.
Bristol United Press has acquired the Wessex regional newspapers business, which includes 11 West Country newspapers, from Newsquest for £35m.
Boots is acquiring Hermal Kurt Herrmann, the German skincare company, from Merck for £174m, and will use Hermal's salesforce to launch its Lutsia range of anti-ageing and anti-acne products into Germany.
Car Group is acquiring Empress Car Co (Abertillery) for £20m, thus doubling its car sales to over 600,000 per year.
AEA Technology is acquiring ERG Environmental Resource Group, the environmental engineering business, from Southern Water for £6m.
British Vita, the foams and plastics company, is acquiring Crest Foam Industries of the US and Silvergate Plastics, the UK colour compounding company, for a total of £15m.
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette of the US is acquiring London Global Securities, the securities lending concern, for undisclosed terms, as part of its ongoing international expansion strategy.
Misys is to acquire Medic Computer Systems, the US medical software company, for £566m, funded partly by a £321m rights issue.
MEPC is acquiring PSIT, the Surrey-based property company, for £247m, following shareholder pressure to improve performance.
Lloyds TSB has sold Business Technology Finance, the leasing finance company, to Newcourt Credit of Canada for £235m, in order to focus on its core retail banking business.
Pointfield is acquiring the Wharfedale loudspeakers business and the Quad hi-fi business from Verity for £4.8m, and Verity will take a 40% stake in Pointfield.
VFG has bought GP Film Services, the broadcast equipment rental concern, for £1.4m.
BTR has sold Serck Heat Transfer, the Birmingham-based heat transfer equipment business, to NatWest Ventures for £31.5m.
Cattles is acquiring Lewis, the debt collection agency, for £7.7m.
Capital Corporation has acquired the Cromwell Mint casino in South Kensington for £25m, and will take the business upmarket.
Christian Salvesen has announced plans to demerge its Aggreko equipment hire business, which will be valued at about £390m, leaving Christian Salvesen to focus on logistics and food service.
Bank of Scotland has increased its stake in EFT, the Scottish leasing company, from 11.6% to 92% and plans to integrate the business into its British Linen Leasing subsidiary.
Cobham is acquiring the aerospace and marine division of ML Holdings for £35m, allowing ML to focus on the distribution of electrical and electronic components.
Goode Durrant has acquired Transport Development Group's vehicle rentals business for £28.2m, taking it into Scotland and the south of England for the first time.
Scottish Telecom, the Scottish Power communications business, is to combine its mobile services operation with the Scottish division of Martin Dawes Telecommunications enabling it to offer integrated fixed and mobile services and giving it access to Martin Dawes' advanced billing system.
Laird Group has acquired Mimtec Electronics, the provider of assembly services to the Scottish computer industry, for £21m.
GrandOptical Photoservice of France is to acquire Vision Express, the chain of 200 opticians, for about £200m.
Yorkshire Group is selling its Australasian inks and pigments business to Huls America for £23m, and its UK pigments dispersions business to Holliday Chemical for £1.8m, and now plans to start looking for acquisitions.
United News & Media is acquiring Telecom Library, the US publisher of computer-telephony magazines, for £80m.
South Western Electricity and Amerada Hess are merging their new gas sales operations in order to provide stronger competition to Centrica in the deregulated domestic gas market.
Wyko Group has acquired ESL Group, the Aberdeen-based supplier of electrical and mechanical services to industry, for £5.5m.
BTP is acquiring the leather and speciality chemicals division of Yorkshire Group for £33m, allowing Yorkshire to focus on its core textile dyes business.
Ashtead Group is to acquire Sheriff Holdings, the plant hire company with 51 depots, for £39m, and cost savings of £2m a year are expected to follow.
Marling Industries, the seat belt webbing company, is being acquired by Autoliv of Sweden for £31m.
Photobition Group is acquiring Scanachrome, the graphics business, for up to £3m in order to expand its product range and geographical coverage.
Boots is selling its AG Stanley home-decorating stores to Alchemy Partners, the venture-capital group, for a nominal sum.
Brown & Jackson has agreed the £6.5m acquisition of WEW, the discount retailer that trades as What Everyone Wants and The Store.
Compagnie Generale des Eaux of France is to acquire Leigh Interests, the UK waste disposal company, for £116m.
Rushmere Wynne, the financial publisher, is acquiring Coutts Consulting's training division for £6.5m, which includes the Eynsham Hall and Chewton Place training companies.
Tibbett & Britten has bought Neptune Freight, the Irish logistics company with sales of about £3m.
Lloyds TSB has sold its 90% stake in Schroder Munchmeyer Hengst, the German bank, to Union Bank of Switzerland for £100m, as SMH's focus on investment banking does not fit Lloyds' focus on retail banking.
Shippam, the fish paste company, has been sold to a management team backed by NatWest Ventures for about £15m, and now plans to launch new fillings, canned chicken and ready meals.
Ennstone has launched an agreed offer to acquire Bruntcliffe Aggregates, the quarrying company, for £26m.
BICC is to merge its German cables business with those of NKF of the Netherlands, forming a new venture called Kaiser Kwo Kabel, in order to make cost savings and increase competitiveness in an overcrowded market.
Hays is expanding its European logistics business with the acquisition of FDS in France and van der Heijden in the Benelux from Mayne Nickless for £72m.
Trinity International is acquiring Post Publications, the Dublin-based publisher of the Sunday Business Post, for £4.9m.
Brown & Jackson is planning to buy Your More Store, the chain of 127 discount stores, for £7.6m.
Gardner Merchant Sodexho has acquired KS Building Services and Genesis Facilities Management from KS Group for undisclosed terms.
Burmah Castrol has acquired SMC Group, the coatings and resins company, from Chemetall for £23m, and sold Columbia Cement, the adhesives business, to TACC International of the US for $23m.
McCorquodale Confidential Print has been sold by Rexam to a management buy-out for £2.1m, which means that Rexam's programme of disposals is now 75% complete.
Bunzl is to acquire Grocery Supply Systems, the US supplier of disposable supermarket products, from Unisource Worldwide for £54m.
Pearson is to sell its Churchill Livingstone medical publishing operation to Harcourt General of the US for £57m.
Kennedy Construction has sold its cable and pipe-laying business to management for £60m.
Royal Bank of Scotland is to acquire Birmingham Midshires building society for up to £630m, and members of the society could receive payouts averaging £850 when the deal is completed late next year.
Hazlewood Foods has acquired R&B Group, the ready meals business, for about £7.4m.
Republic Industries of the US has made a £95m recommended offer for EuroDollar, the UK car rental company.
Low & Bonar, the packaging company, has acquired Nuway, the flooring business, from BTR for £11m, and plans to make further acquisitions over the next year.
Reed Elsevier has sold its Tigerprint greeting cards business to management for £12.5m, as part of a plan to sell off its Reed Books division.
Gehe is selling the Macarthy drugs manufacturing business of Lloyds Chemists to a management team backed by Cinven, the private equity specialist, for £55.5m.
Flare Group, the industrial ceramics company, is to acquire CH Rathbone & Son for £1.15m and Elmeceram of France for £2.33m.
Danisco of Denmark has made a £36.6m recommended offer to acquire Borthwicks, the food flavourings company.
NBTY, the US vitamin retailer, has bought the Holland & Barrett chain of over 400 health food stores from Gehe for £100m, and is expected to focus the group on own-label products.
Linden is acquiring Amplevine, the Hampshire-based housebuilder, for an initial £6m, funded by a placing and open offer that should raise £4.5m.
Field Group has bought Tudor Labels, the maker of self-adhesive labels, for an initial £5m.
Chrysalis is to acquire Faze FM Radio, which runs Kiss 102 in Manchester and Kiss 105 in Yorkshire, for £17.5m.
BBA is acquiring Becorit Gesellschaft Wilhelm Beckmann, the German maker of railway friction materials, for up to £28m.
BTR has bought Limitorque, the valve actuator concern, for £36.8m.
Willis Corroon is to merge its independent financial adviser business with that of Abbey National, creating the second largest such business in the UK.
Dixon Motors is buying Carnell Motor Group, the car and motorcycle retailer, for £13.4m.
Henlys is selling its motor dealerships to a management buy-out for £56.6m, in order to focus on its growing bus building business.
Smiths Industries is acquiring Graseby, the medical and instrument testing equipment concern, for £136m.
Dage, the electronics company, has been sold to a management buy-in team with support from the Royal Bank of Scotland, for £23m.
Dairy Crest has bought Anglia Dairies from Anglia Regional Co-operative Society for £4.6m.
Shire Pharmaceuticals is acquiring Richwood Pharmaceuticals of Kentucky, the maker of treatments for disorders of the central nervous system, for up to £113m.
Dana Petroleum has made an agreed £54m bid for Seafield Resources, the oil exploration and production company with interests in the UK and west Africa.
Hibernia Foods of Dublin has acquired Majestic Food Group, the UK frozen desserts company that trades as Sweet 'n Savoury Frozen Foods.
Aberdeen Asset Management has acquired Prolific, the fund manager, from Scottish Provident for £61m, in a deal that will give Scottish Provident a 41% stake in Aberdeen.
BTR has acquired Microlite's Brazilian industrial batteries operation for £44m, as part of a strategy to boost sales in emerging markets.
Berisford has acquired Sammic, the Spanish manufacturer of food service equipment, for £21.8m.
Logica is acquiring Aldiscon, the network systems company, for £51m, in order to help it "deploy repeatable software solutions in the telecommunications sector".
Croda International is acquiring Stoa, the French supplier of skin cream ingredients, for £40m.
GE Capital of the US is to acquire Central Transport Rental Group for £118m, creating the largest trailer rental group in Europe.
DT Industries of the US is acquiring Lucas Assembly and Test System from LucasVarity for £30m, as part of LucasVarity's programme to dispose of 13 non-core businesses.
Sims Food is selling its retail red meat business to Dawn of Ireland for £12.1m, incurring a £31m loss on disposal, in order to focus on its expanding fast food business.
Millennium Chemicals has agreed a joint venture with Lyondell Petrochemical of the US which will create a £3bn chemicals company, in order to make savings of $150m a year by eliminating duplicate overheads.
Shorco Group Holdings, the supplier of steel storage cabins and health and safety equipment to the construction industry, is to undergo a reverse takeover by Peterhouse Group and Lowfields Technology Group for undisclosed terms, and the new group will be called Peterhouse.
BI Group is acquiring Cortworth, the specialist engineering company, for £93.6m, taking it into the market for control equipment for the utilities sector.
Carlson Companies, the US-based owner of the AT Mays travel agents chain, is to acquire Inspirations, the UK package holiday group, for £42m, and has ambitious plans for further growth and acquisitions in the UK.
Avimo Group of Singapore is acquiring the Optronics division of OMI International, the engineering solutions group, for £8m.
Abbott Mead Vickers, the advertising agency, has acquired Aurelia Public Relations, which specialises in the fashion industry, for up to £4.2m.
Ramco Energy is acquiring JKX, the oil explorer that operates in Georgia and Ukraine, for £54m, and is expected to look for a big oil company to help operate the Ukranian assets.
Eagle Star is to acquire Preferred Direct, the direct motor insurer, from Friends Provident and others for £50m.
Rexam has sold William Clowes, the book printer, to management for £4.4m, as part of its continuing programme of disposals.
Commercial Union has acquired a 55.8% stake in Union Financiere de France, the insurance and investment products company, from Credit Agricole Indosuez for £126m.
Ladbroke is acquiring Colorado Gaming and Entertainment, which runs three casinos in Denver, for £21m, as part of its strategy to build up its US gaming business.
Transport Development Group is acquiring NFC's seven remaining cold stores for £11m in order to expand its temperature-controlled distribution business.
Lucas Aerospace, the LucasVarity division, has bought Smiths Industries' engine controls business for undisclosed terms.
Grampian Pharmaceuticals, the animal healthcare company, is being sold to management by Grampian Holdings for £68m.
Barr & Wallace Arnold Trust has sold its leisure division, which includes a major coach holiday business, to a management buy-out for £42m.
Holliday Chemical has acquired Laboratorios Julian de Mexico, the Mexican chemicals company, from SmithKline Beecham for £4.7m.
Euromoney Publications has acquired Institutional Investor, the US business press company, from Walt Disney for £85m.
Forbes of South Africa is acquiring Nelson Hurst, the UK insurance broker, for £84m.
Precision Engineering International has been set up as a new company to acquire Metal Spinners Group, the Newcastle-based metal processing business, for about £6m.
ICI has sold its titanium dioxide and polyester operations to DuPont of the US for £1.68bn in order to help fund its acquisition of Unilever's speciality chemicals business.
Ellis & Everard has acquired Mozel, the paints and coatings business based in St Louis, for £13m, as part of its strategy to expand its product range and geographical coverage.
Tinsley Robor is acquiring Lenteweg, the Dutch packaging company, for an initial £11.4m.
Scapa is acquiring Sellotape International's industrial tapes division for up to £43.7m.
AEA Technology is acquiring Hyprotech, the Canadian producer of software for the design of oil and gas rigs, for £34m.
Shalibane, the maker of products for the European motor industry, is acquiring BWL Component Engineering and Alpha Tubes for £3.6m.
SIG has launched a £24.6m recommended bid for Roskel, the supplier of suspended ceilings and partitioning.
Weir Group has acquired Entropie, the French desalination and process contracting company, for £6.5m.
United Drug has made a £13.6m recommended offer for Dublin Drug, the wholesaler and distributor of pharmaceutical and healthcare products.
Reflec is acquiring Plast Chemical, the powder coatings company, for up to £2.5m.
Linde of Germany has acquired Wagon Industrial's retail systems division, which makes fittings for large stores, for £33m.
FKI has finalised a deal to acquire Bridon, the wire and rope maker, for £131m.
FirstBus is acquiring Southampton Citybus in a £11m deal, giving it a fleet of 152 buses, 16 of which are gas-powered.
Mirror Group is acquiring Midland Independent Newspapers for £297m, making it a major force in regional newspapers.
Rexam has sold five more businesses for £18m, including Rexam Cartons and Flexible Packaging of the US, which was sold to a management team, and Dispenser, which was sold to Lindal Ventil of Germany.
Barr & Wallace Arnold Trust is selling its leisure division to a management buy-out for £40m.
Siebe is acquiring Carl Froh's tube production line in Germany for £5.2m, and PJ King, the Australian supplier of tubular fluid systems, for £2.8m.
Blagden Industries has acquired Cellobond, the resins business, from BP Chemicals for £13m.
Cinven, the private equity specialist, is acquiring the UK and French healthcare interests of Compagnie Generale des Eaux, including General Healthcare Group of the UK which will be merged with Amicus Healthcare.
Axa of France is to merge its Sun Life & Provincial and Axa Equity & Law subsidiaries, creating the third largest life assurer in the UK.
SIG has acquired Asphaltic Roofing Supplies for £25m, and Distribution International and Branton Industries, both of the US, for £11m.
Eagle Star is acquiring La Suiza, the Spanish life and general insurance company, from Swiss Life for £27m.
GKN Westland Aerospace is acquiring Aerospace Composite Technologies of Luton for £21m.
Bunzl is to acquire AFC, the US plastics extrusion and fibres business, for £108m.
Adare Printing is acquiring the security print division of Kalamazoo Computer for £12m.
Amersham International is to merge with Nycomed of Norway to create Nycomed Amersham, a £1.1bn medical diagnostics group.
London Bridge Software is acquiring Recovery Management System, the US maker of programs to recover consumer debts, for £21m.
Fairey has acquired NDC Systems, the gauging equipment company based in California, for £18.1m.
Bank of Scotland is to acquire EFT Group, the leasing company, for about £90m, and will merge it with its British Linen Leasing subsidiary.
HJ Heinz has acquired John West Foods, the canned fish company, from Unilever.
TransTec has acquired Vector Plastics, the injection mouldings company, for £18m.
United News & Media has made a recommended £262m bid for the remaining 70% of HTV, the Welsh broadcaster, signalling further consolidation in the independent TV sector.
Zurich has acquired Scudder, Stevens & Clark, the US fund management company, in a £1.01bn deal which will reduce its reliance on the cyclical insurance industry.
General Electric Capital of the US is acquiring TLS, the vehicle rental company, for £68m.
CE Heath, the insurance broker, is to undergo a £96m management buy-out.
Fedsure of South Africa is moving into the UK with the acquisitions of Beale Dobie from Hambro Insurance Services for £15m, and Policy Portfolio.
Abbey National is to acquire Cater Allen, the private banking group, for £191m in order to boost its offshore banking and treasury services divisions.
Royal & Sun Alliance has acquired AMEV (General), the Irish non-life operation of Fortis Group, for £12m.
S Daniels is acquiring Globekirk, the tea company, for £2.3m, and Eurogran, the Danish supplier of beverage ingredients, for £5.6m.
Philip Johnstone has been set up as a new company to acquire the Cementone Beaver paints and building chemicals business from Cementone for £9.5m.
Wescol is acquiring Glosford Holdings, the structural steel contractor, for £6.4m.
Reed Elsevier is acquiring the three main divisions of Chilton Business Group, the US trade press publisher, for £270m.
Compass is buying SHRM, the French food service company, for £227m, increasing its market share from 12% to 19% and giving it its first foothold in Canada and Australia.
Global Group's port services division has been sold to management for £4.1m, and will be called Global Shipping Services Group.
WPI Group of the US has acquired Husky Computers Group, the supplier of hand-held computers, from Peek for £10m.
Innovative Technologies is acquiring Polymedica Woundcare, the US wound care company, from Polymedica Industries for £10.8m.
ED&F Man is selling its cocoa processing business to Archer-Daniels-Midland of the US for £135m, but retains its cocoa sourcing and cocoa merchanting operations.
Zeneca is to acquire ICI Australia's pharmaceuticals business, for a price yet to be decided.
Jarvis has acquired Fastline, the rail track renewal company, for £50m, and is also buying the outstanding 50% of Relayfast for £5m.
Edgemond Engineering of the West Midlands has been sold by Edgemond Group to a management buy-out for £8.6m.
Megalomedia is acquiring Computer Film Holdings, the supplier of digital effects on movies, for up to £8.6m.
PacifiCorp of the US has launched a £3.65bn recommended offer for Energy Group, although some analysts fear it may be referred to the Monopolies & Mergers Commission.
Princes, the Mitsubishi subsidiary, has acquired the Barber Springdale soft drinks business from Hillsdown, which has assets of £13.6m.
Saint Gobain of France is acquiring Unicorn, the UK abrasives maker, for £85m.
CRT has acquired Software Design Associates, the IT consultancy, for £17m.
Senior Engineering has acquired Nitrotec Services, the provider of heat treatment processes for metal components, from LucasVarity for about £3m.
Granada is planning a takeover of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television, which is thought to be worth about £800m, in a deal that would create a dominant force in independent television in the north of England.
The Mister Minit international shoe repair and key-cutting business is to be sold to the UBS banking group for undisclosed terms.
Bupa is to acquire Goldsborough, the chain of 32 nursing homes and six hospitals, for £77m.
Lear Corporation of the US is acquiring Dunlop Cox, the maker of frames for vehicle seats, from BTR for £36m.
Valmet of Finland is acquiring Atlas Converting Equipment, the packaging equipment maker, for £86m.
Thomson Directories, the information services company, is being sold by US West International to a consortium that includes existing management for £80m.
Coal Products Holdings has acquired British Fuels, the coal, oil and gas distributor, for £32m, giving it national coverage for the first time.
Albert Fisher is acquiring Howard Long International, the Norfolk-based supplier of prepared lettuce to McDonald's, for £27m.
Smiths Industries has acquired Torin Holdings, the small fans and motors company, for £15.5m, and PolyPhaser, the US maker of lightning protection equipment, for £17.5m.
Scottish Media, the owner of Scottish Television, is to acquire Grampian, the other Scottish ITV company, for over £100m.
First Leisure is acquiring Riverside, the chain of three tennis and fitness clubs and two Espree gym clubs in London, for £61m.
Ennstone is to raise over £8m in a share placing in order to fund the purchase and expansion of Tarmac's masonry products division, as part of a plan to widen its product base and strengthen its balance sheet.
Avonmore and Waterford have agreed to merge, creating the largest milk company in Ireland and the UK and a "significant international food company".
Bradford & Bingley is acquiring Mortgage Express from Lloyds TSB for £64m.
Fenner has acquired Scandura Holdings, the US manufacturer of conveyor belts, for £44m.
Booker is selling its prepared foods business to a management buy-in for £57m, in order to reduce debt and focus on its core food services business.
Kingfisher is acquiring BCC Holding Amstelveen, the Dutch electrical retailer with 17 stores, for £34m.
Bowthorpe is acquiring Adtech, the Hawaii-based digital test equipment concern, for £31m, as part of a plan to strengthen its telecommunications and power activities.
Quality Care Homes has agreed to a £46m takeover bid from Principal Healthcare Investors, which will run the nursing homes in a joint venture with Tamaris.
De La Rue is acquiring the French-based smart card manufacturing business of Philips, for £54m.
Compass has acquired National Leisure Catering, the food service group which includes Wembley and the Oval among its customers, for £11m.
Southern Star Group of Australia has launched a recommended £8.3m takeover bid for Circle Communications, the UK television rights company.
Tibbett & Britten has launched an agreed £17m bid for Applied Distribution Group, the rival distribution company.
Zeneca is acquiring Mogen International, the Dutch plant biotechnology concern, for £46m, and expects to benefit from Mogen's expertise in fungal control.
Grand Metropolitan and Guinness are planning to merge to create the largest spirits and wine group in the world, which will be called GMG Brands and valued at £24bn.
Portman Building Society is planning to merge with Greenwich Building Society to create the sixth largest building society in the UK with assets of £4.3bn.
Siebe has announced a £331m agreed takeover offer for APV, the process equipment maker.
Adminstore, which trades under the Europa Foods and Harts the Grocer names, has announced a £7.4m agreed takeover offer for Cullens, the convenience store chain.
Hamleys has acquired Hobbies & Models, which owns 11 Toy Stack shops in the south east, for £8.7m.
Alfred McAlpine has acquired Raine, the housebuilder, in a £42m share deal, creating the seventh largest housebuilder in the UK and giving McAlpine access to three new regions - Yorkshire, Northumbria and Cumbria.
Lonrho is selling its 94% stake in Lonrho Sugar Corporation to Illovo Sugar of South Africa for £227m, in order to reduce debt and prepare for a restructuring.
Lynx Holdings has acquired Apex Computer Group, the provider of manufacturing and financial systems, for £10.6m.
Oxford Molecular is acquiring Genetics Computer and MRL Automation, two US software companies that specialise in the development of new drugs, funded by a £30m rights issue.
ICI is acquiring Unilever's speciality chemicals division, which includes National Starch, Quest, Unichema and Crosfield, for £4.9bn, and is also discussing the sale of £3bn of its own industrial chemicals businesses including polyester, fertilisers, chlorine, explosives and pigments.
Scotia Haven has acquired Whitworths, the baking ingredients business, from Napier Brown for £44m, and now aims to launch dried fruit products into the snacks market.
Capital Radio is acquiring Virgin Radio Group, which owns a national commercial licence and an FM licence in London, for £65m, giving Capital a total of three radio stations in London.
Warner Lambert has acquired PharmaChem, Hickson International's loss-making subsidiary, for £28m, thus completing the restructuring at Hickson.
Morgan Crucible, the industrial carbons and ceramics company, is making four acquisitions for a total £12.4m - AGS of the US, Cupex of France, DR Energy of the UK, and Ash Fibre of the UK - and is also setting up a thermal ceramics joint venture in Japan with Nippon Steel Chemical.
GKN is acquiring Sinter Metals, the US powder metallurgy company, for £352m, thus giving it 14% of the world market for lightweight components made from the precision pressing of metal and carbide powders.
Wickes is to sell Wickes Continental, the chain of 39 DIY stores in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, to Bricorama of France for £7.5m, which will reduce Wickes' group debt by £12.5m.
Sears has reached agreement to sell the Freemans mail order business to Littlewoods for £367m, and also plans to demerge the Selfridges department store next year as part of a restructuring aimed at stemming the losses in its £465m footwear business.
Surrey Free Inns is acquiring Richardsons Inns, the owner of pubs and bars around London, for £11m.
Viasystems of the US has acquired Interconnection Systems, the Tyneside-based PCB producer, for undisclosed terms, and has set up a European HQ in London as it attempts to become the world's biggest producer.
Commercial Union has acquired Societe d'Epargne Viagere, the French life assurer, and Sinafer, the insurance broker, from Compagnie de Suez for a sum thought to be about £140m.
Enterprise Inns is acquiring Discovery Inns, the operator of over 200 pubs, for £46m.
Hepworth is selling its refractories business to Alpine Group of the US for £62m.
C&J Clark, the shoe group, is selling its factory outlets to MEPC, the property company, for £80m.
Bardon and Camas are to merge to create the UK's fifth largest aggregates producer, forming a new group called Aggregate Industries.
Scottish Power has sold IT Southern, the computer services division of its Southern Water acquisition, to ICL for £10.8m.
Great Universal Stores has acquired Direct Marketing Technology, the US marketing database company, for £180m.
Royal & Sun Alliance is acquiring the Italian life assurance and pensions business of Prudential for £46m.
Siemens has now agreed to buy Parsons Power Generation Systems from Rolls-Royce for £30m and will take on 880 of the remaining workers.
Tomkins is acquiring Stant Corporation, the US car parts maker, for £372m.
Melrose Energy is changing its name to Pentex Energy and selling its oil and gas businesses and US interests for £13.6m.
United Utilities has announced the disposal of Norweb's US generation interests to Indeck North American Power Fund for £25m.
Carrs Paper, the West Midlands-based paper and packaging concern, has been acquired by institutional investors for £24.4m.
Rexam has sold four more subsidiaries for a total £24.4m - Goodhead Group has bought Benham & Company, Cookson has bought Tactus International, and Silgen Plastics has bought Rexam Containers in North America.
The Peacock and Millets chains of clothing retailers are being sold to a management buy-out for £78m, and plans are being prepared to open 40 stores a year.
IMI is acquiring TA Hydronics, the Swedish valve maker, for £97m.
Carlton Communications has acquired Rank Film Distributors from the Rank Group for £65m.
Amstrad is selling Dancall Telecom, its mobile telephone business, to Robert Bosch of Germany for £92m.
Pressac Holdings is acquiring Kaumagraph, the US supplier of dashboard displays for cars, for £9m.
Prudential has acquired the New Zealand life business of General Accident for £70m.
GKN Westland Aerospace is acquiring the assets of BP Chemicals advanced materials business for £9m.
Prudential Corporation is acquiring Scottish Amicable, the mutual life insurer, for £2.87bn, and will pay policyholders average windfalls of £1,400.
Reed Elsevier is to acquire MDL Information Systems, the US manager of research and development information, for £201m.
Cruden Bay is to acquire Technolog, the electronic instruments maker, for up to £27.7m.
Blue Circle Industries is acquiring St Mary's Cement Corporation of Canada for £164m.
Carclo Engineering Group has acquired EIS Group's technical moulding division for £25.6m.
Charter has made an agreed £385m bid for Howden, the engineering group.
Pegasus is acquiring CSM, the supplier of accounting software, from Microvitec for £6.7m.
Hanson is acquiring Concrete Pipe & Products, the US concrete pipe maker, for £78m.
Ocean Group is planning to sell its flotilla of offshore-support vessels to Tidewater of the US for £328m, and will use the proceeds for acquisitions.
T&N is acquiring Metal Leve's US auto parts business for £31m, which will make it one the world's largest piston manufacturers.
Finelist Group is acquiring Maccess, the car parts retailer, from Heywood Williams for £32.6m.
TT Group has acquired Wire & Cables Group from GEC for £16m.
BSG International has sold its Bristol Street motor dealership to management for £68m, but will retain a 20% stake under its new name Britax International.
Britannic Assurance is to take on more staff to help sort out problems with pensions mis-selling in order to speed up the review of up to 13,000 cases.
IMI has acquired Sulzer's Thermtec industrial valves division for £10m.
General Cable has acquired Imminus, the data networking group, for £33m, and aims to win a national telecoms licence in order to expand beyond its franchise areas.
Wiggins Group is acquiring Tomorrows Leisure, the hotels and leisure management concern, for about £15m.
Forward Group, the printed circuit board company, is being acquired by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the US buy-out specialist, for £129m.
SIG Group has sold SIG Architectural Products, the supplier of hardware to the replacement window market, to a management buy-out for £65m.
Glynwed International has sold Wednesbury Tube, the copper tube maker, to Mueller Industries of the US for about £12m.
Sage has acquired KHK Software, the German accounting software concern, for £40m, giving it immediate leadership of the German market.
Vaux Group has sold its St Andrews nursing homes business to Highfield Group for an initial £35m, which will more than double the size of Highfield to over 3,500 beds.
Partco, the vehicle parts distributor, is acquiring Dana Distribution Europe from Dana Corp of the US for £103m.
BTP has acquired PCR, the US fine chemicals concern, for £44m.
Rosebys has acquired Bensons, the bed retailer, for up to £25m.
ED&F Man is acquiring the worldwide molasses business of Cargill for £60m in a move which will make Man the world leader.
Shire Pharmaceuticals is acquiring Pharmavene, the US drugs delivery concern, for up to £104m, and will make further acquisitions using funding from a £11.5m planned share offer.
Yorkshire Electricity has received a £1.5bn agreed takeover bid from American Electric Power and Public Service Company of Colorado, but the deal will now require regulatory approval.
Simon Engineering has sold the industrial arm of its Access division to Terex of the US for £55m, in order to reduce debt.
Bunzl is acquiring American Filtrona, the US filter and fibre business, for £45m.
Forward Trust, the leasing group, has acquired the Eversholt train leasing company for £788m.
FirstBus has launched a £54m agreed takeover bid for CentreWest, the London bus operator, and plans to upgrade their fleet of buses.
Gulf Canada has won control of Clyde Petroleum with a £494m cash offer, and job cuts are now likely.
Investcorp of Bahrain has acquired the Welcome Break motorway service centre chain from Granada for £473m, and now plans to expand the chain into other service areas and abroad.
Cooper Tire & Rubber is acquiring Avon Rubber's tyre division for about £60m, as Avon aims to focus on automotive components and technical products.
Wellington Underwriting has made an agreed £35m bid for Premium Insurance to create a combined group with over £600m of underwriting capacity.
Prowting has acquired Magnus Homes, the Midlands and west country builder, for £11.6m.
Geoworks of the US has bought Eden Group, the UK software company, for £18m in order to develop its smart phones business.
British Gas has been demerged into two new businesses - Centrica, the domestic gas trading and supply operation, and BG plc, the pipeline and international exploration and production operation.
Siebe is acquiring Whessoe, the instruments and controls manufacturer, for £46m.
Rexam has sold Otis Specialty Papers to Wausau Paper Mills of the US for £36m, and PT Rexam Mulox, the Indonesian maker of chemical containers, to a management buy-out for £1.3m.
Rugby has sold Rom, its metal products division, to management for £14m.
Cable & Wireless has ended its European telecommunications partnership with Veba by selling its stake in their Vebacom joint venture to the German company for £820m.
Ricardo Group has sold its Inbis nuclear and aerospace design division to management for £7m in order to focus on its core automotive engineering business.
Core Laboratories of Texas has acquired Scott Pickford, the UK oil consultancy, for £7.5m.
BTR has acquired Pollux Meter Group, the French maker of water meters, for £163m.
Jacobs Holdings has acquired Ropner, the shipping, property and engineering concern, for about £34m.
Royal & Sun Alliance has acquired the non-life insurance business of Bank Argentaria, the Spanish bank, for about £20m.
Sema Group has acquired BR Business Systems, the train ticket and timetable concern, for £27m, and plans to win rail contracts in other countries using the skills of BRBS.
National Railway Supplies, the provider of equipment for track maintenance, has been sold to a management buy-out with the backing of Unipart.
Ladbroke has acquired AR Dennis, the chain of 114 betting shops in the south-east, for £31m.
OGC International has recommended a £73m takeover bid from Halliburton, the US energy services company.
Hampson Industries is to acquire Arabis, the engineering company, for £17.5m.
British Airways is selling its ground fleet services at Heathrow and Gatwick to Ryder System of the US, and will rent the vehicles back.
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette has acquired Phoenix Securities, the merchant bank, for a sum thought to be about £50m.
Ingersoll-Rand has announced a £230m agreed takeover of Newman Tonks, the architectural hardware concern, thus beating FKI's £189m bid.
Senior Engineering is acquiring the Ketema A&E division, which makes components for the aerospace sector in California, from Ketema Inc, for £12.5m.
British Steel Forgings is being acquired in a management buy-out for £74.5m.
ICI is acquiring the Syngas catalyst business from BASF for about £15m.
BAT's Farmers insurance subsidiary in the US has sold three life assurance operations for £202m.
Camas is selling Camas Associated Asphalt's highway construction and maintenance business to a management buy-in for up to £7.6m.
Morland, the brewer, has acquired 16 pubs from Whitbread for £3.4m and 24 American-style bar diners from Allied Domecq for £32m.
Allied Irish Banks has acquired Dauphin Deposit Corp, the Pennsylvania bank holding company, for £810m.
Rugby Group is acquiring Boulton & Paul, the windows and doors company, for £15.5m, thus increasing Rugby's share of the doors market from 24 to 32%.
Blue Circle is planning to acquire St Mary's Cement Corporation of Canada for about £200m, in order to strengthen its North American activities.
Datrontech is acquiring RD Trading, the computer product recycling specialist, for £5m, and Xenon Holdings, the supplier of computer network services, for £3.7m.
Olivetti is selling its PC division to Piedmont International, a new company set up for the purpose, for up to £116m, in order to focus on telecommunications.
Hays has acquired North & South Installations, the transporter of refrigeration units for retailers, for an initial £4.5m.
Heywood Williams has acquired two US companies for £5.4m - Verns Quality Products and Columbia Plastics.
Fairey Group has won control of Burnfield, the maker of measuring instruments, and will now block Burnfield's attempted acquisition of Ling Dynamic Systems.
Reed Elsevier has acquired Colofon, the Dutch publisher of scientific and business material, for up to £80m.
Finelist is acquiring Ferraris Piston Service, the vehicle parts distributor, from Tomkins for £61m.
Siebe has acquired Satchwell Controls, the maker of building automation systems, from GEC for £80m.
Hays is to acquire Daufenbach, the German logistics company, for up to £30m in order to expand its European distribution network.
Spirax-Sarco Engineering is acquiring Bredel Holdings, the Dutch maker of heavy duty pumps, for £17m.