Northeast offers of the week: main investments, contracts and acquisitions


Mark Toney & Co. Limited has been sold as a going concern to new owners in a transaction overseen by specialist commercial property adviser Christie & Co.

The popular ice cream parlor, which operates a wholesale business, a factory and two ice cream parlours, was put up for sale nine months ago when owner Antony Marcantonio – the great-grandson of the gelateria’s founder – announced plans to retire.

Mark Toney’s has served generations of families across Newcastle since the first store opened inside Grainger Market in 1892, when Antonio Marcantonio brought a taste of Italian gelato to the historic market from a small village mountain near Rome.

The new co-owner and general manager, Chris Raynes, is also a direct descendant and great-great-grandson of Giovanni Marcantonio.

wealth manager Brewin’s dolphin is set to be acquired by Royal Bank of Canada in a deal valuing the business at £1.6 billion.

Newcastle office of Brewin Dolphin at Time Central

The investment specialist, which has a network of offices in the UK and Ireland, including a strong presence in Newcastle, has recommended an offer to shareholders of RBC Wealth Management (Jersey) Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada.

The two companies have announced that they have reached agreement on the terms of an all-cash recommended offer, whereby shareholders will be entitled to 515p per Brewin Dolphin share. The deal values ​​Brewin Dolphin at 2.8% of its £55 billion in assets under management as of February 28, 2022.

Brewin Dolphin’s largest office outside of London is in Newcastle, where it has approximately 350 employees.

From left to right: Alex and Jenny McFadden of Pretty Mama
From left to right: Alex and Jenny McFadden of Pretty Mama

South Tyneside fashion start-up Pretty mom made a deal with four TV dragons after braving the Dragons’ Den.

Jenny and Alex McFadden appeared on last Thursday’s episode of the BBC One show, where viewers saw them introduce their maternity clothing brand Pretty Mama to the panel.

The siblings opened up about how they juggle full-time jobs with the clothing business, which launched four years ago after spotting a gap in the market for feminine and comfortable maternity clothes.

They asked for an investment of £30,000 in return for a 20% stake in the business – but stressed that what they wanted more than anything was advice on how to grow the business.

In exchange for 6% equity per dragon, the sisters will now work with North East entrepreneur Sara Davies, as team leader Steven Bartlett, Peter Jones and Touker Souleyman. The deal is currently going through the due diligence process.

Undated artist's impression issued by Britishvolt of their first large-scale UK battery gigaplant in Northumberland.
Artist’s impression issued by Britishvolt of their first large scale UK battery gigaplant in Northumberland.

Battery pioneer Britishvolt has signed an agreement with an Indonesian company to secure the supply of a vital compound at its gigaplante in Northumberland.

Britishvolt has signed a memorandum of understanding with VKTR, a new division of Bakrie Autoparts which is part of the wealthy family business Bakrie & Brothers, to partner in the development of a ‘transparent and low carbon’ supply of sulphate of nickel from Indonesia, as well as a roadmap for the research and development of battery technology.

The first phase of the deal will see the companies work together to develop a nickel plant in Indonesia that can supply battery manufacturers, including Britishvolt’s first large-scale gigaplant in Blyth, Northumberland.

The parties intend to develop a joint venture under the corporate name of Indovolt BV VKTR, initially focusing on the supply of nickel before examining the potential for developing a gigafactory in Indonesia, which is the largest nickel-producing country in the world, as well as on other sites.

Peter Grant, Founder of VTUK, with Ben Ridgway, Managing Director of iamproperty Group
Peter Grant, Founder of VTUK, with Ben Ridgway, Managing Director of iamproperty Group

the a property The group has acquired Oxfordshire-based property software firm VTUK for an undisclosed sum in a deal it says furthers its mission to modernize the property industry.

VTUK offers a cloud-based real estate CRM software platform that aims to create a seamless experience for real estate agents to fully automate their day-to-day operations.

Founded in 1989 by founder Peter Grant, they work with over 300 estate agents across the UK and already share a number of mutual clients with iamproperty.

Ben Ridgway, Managing Director of iamproperty Group, said: “We are delighted to bring VTUK into the iamproperty Group.

“Peter has built a business that is highly respected in the industry with the support of an established team and we are truly looking forward to working alongside them. This is a great opportunity for our staff and our customers, creating synergies that will benefit our network of mutual partner agents.

Four other companies have been supported by a fund that aims to support the renewable energy sector in the North East.

North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Technology, Innovation and Green Growth for Offshore Renewable Energy (TIGGOR) program has awarded grants totaling £800,000 to TechnipFMC, FES International, Kinewell Energy, and coastal submarine. Grants take money awarded by the fund above £2m.

The program is part of North Tyne’s broader strategy for energy, green growth and climate change, with the grants coming a week after the launch of a task force which aims to make Tyne a global leader in the renewable and offshore energy sector.

Stockton’s px-group acquired Fairport Engineering in an undisclosed deal that includes Sunderland-based Fairport Tunneling Technologies.

The deal will bring the material handling expertise of North West-based Fairport to the group and is the first since the acquisition of px Group by Ara Partners last year.

Fairport’s 70-person team will now join px Group, which says the move is in line with its international and domestic growth strategy.


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