NG Bailey, one of the UK’s largest independent engineering, IT and facilities services business, has completed the acquisition of Freedom Group, a leading provider of facilities and power engineering services.
The expanded business will have a turnover of more than £600m a year and provides an excellent opportunity for NG Bailey to extend its range of services and develop a presence in new sectors, specifically the electricity distribution network (DNO) market.
The sector is set for significant expansion over the coming years, with new technologies supporting the rapid growth of low carbon power generation in the UK and the development of increased battery storage capacity.
For more than 20 years Freedom has provided engineering capital replacement projects and ‘hard FM’ maintenance services, particularly within utilities through its four divisions; Infrastructure Services, Networks, Power and Professional Services. Freedom works primarily with DNO’s and private network owners across substations, overhead lines, underground cables, buildings and associated infrastructure. Its key customers include Northern Powergrid, UK Power Networks, Scottish Power, Electricity North West, Yorkshire Water and the Port of Felixstowe.
The acquisition also increases NG Bailey’s capabilities in sectors such as defence and airports, as well as expanding its engineering and maintenance services across major infrastructure portfolios, such as data centre telecoms and ports.
As part of the NG Bailey Group, Freedom’s existing management team will continue to run the £120m turnover business under the existing brand.
David Hurcomb, NG Bailey’s Chief Executive, said: “Bringing Freedom Group into the NG Bailey family provides a natural extension to the range of services we already offer – particularly engineering and maintenance services.
“Combining our offerings strengthens both our market positions, but it also creates significant new opportunities for both businesses. It will enable NG Bailey to compete more effectively in new markets, specifically the electricity distribution sector. It is an area where our combined skills and market-leading approach to principal contractor management, design and BIM will add considerable value.
“Having Freedom’s skills and expertise will increase our capabilities within electrical infrastructure. It makes strategic and commercial sense to have Freedom as part of our group, as it’s a well-respected company in a sector with strong future growth opportunities.”
The addition of Freedom’s 600-strong team will take NG Bailey’s headcount to 3,600 employees.
David Hartley, Chief Operating Officer of Freedom Group, added: “This transaction marks an exciting milestone in the development and growth of Freedom, which has become a well-established, successful business with a strong presence in its core market.
“Our existing knowledge of and relationships with, the distribution network operators, combined with NG Bailey’s innovative approach to large engineering and services projects, provides a strong platform for sustained growth for both companies.
“The enlarged group will offer a highly-attractive end-to-end proposition across electrical, mechanical and fabric maintenance services to a number of markets, focusing on outstanding technical expertise and project delivery.”
Mike Porter, Chief Finance Officer and Jonathan Stockton, Deputy Chief Finance Officer led the transaction for NG Bailey with support from Andrew Coticelli, of Deloitte, in relation to tax due diligence, Giles Taylor and Nigel Hinchcliffe, of KPMG, for corporate finance advisory and financial due diligence and respectively Gareth Saynor of CMS leading the legal process.