Leading UK engineering services provider increases its presence in the specialist electrical and process engineering sector
Aliter Capital LLP (Aliter), the private equity buy and build specialist in the UK support services sector, has confirmed Edwin James Group, a portfolio company of its second fund, Aliter Capital II, has acquired Automated Control Solutions Holdings Ltd (ACS) and its subsidiaries.
Edwin James Group is a multi-disciplinary engineering services provider, supporting customers across the UK in their built, process and digital environments. The group recently reported a robust set of results for the year ending February 2023, with turnover increasing 22% to £175m from £144m in 2022 and its order book growing to £800m from £545m over the same period.
Established in 1998 and headquartered in Burton-on-Trent, ACS is a control systems integration services provider, specialising in software and electrical based control solutions for the manufacturing sector. The business focuses on working with large corporate customers in the food and beverage, brewing and liquid processing industries.
Greig Brown, Aliter partner said, “The acquisition of ACS supports Aliter’s strategy of developing a scaled, UK leading provider of process services and technical services to blue chip customers across a range of non cyclical sectors. Edwin James Group is a highly successful business with an excellent management team and large forward order book. The company is poised for another period of strong, profitable growth and the team at Aliter is excited to work with the company in the next phase of its development, including further strategic acquisitions.”
Christopher Kehoe, Edwin James Group CEO said: “ACS is a business we have known and admired for some time and we believe their blend of skills, knowledge and specialist experience is a perfect complementary fit for our business. In becoming part of the Edwin James Group, ACS adds density to our presence in process engineering which we believe to be a highly attractive market with great growth prospects.”
In February 2023, Aliter’s newly raised second fund, Aliter Capital II, completed a significant secondary investment in Edwin James Group. Aliter’s relationship with Edwin James Group dates back to early 2017, when its first fund, Aliter Capital I, invested in the engineering services company. ACS is Edwin James Group’s first bolt-on acquisition under Aliter Capital II’s ownership, as it continues to actively identify further strategic targets.
This latest deal is consistent with Aliter’s buy and build investment strategy; acquiring and integrating high quality businesses to create sophisticated, professional operators of scale within fragmented markets. Aliter focuses on using its deep industrial expertise and broad networks to help drive both organic and acquisitive growth, to gain scale and a national footprint.
Issued on behalf of Aliter Capital by David Budge
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Aliter was founded in 2017 by a group of seasoned support services entrepreneurs and investors – Billy Allan, Greig Brown, Andy Galloway and Andrew Busby – and focuses on small and medium sized businesses in the UK support services sector, a market valued at over £300 billion. Its approach differs from traditional private equity models by making only a limited number of selective portfolio investments to deliver dedicated hands-on support. Aliter has now closed over 20 transactions since the beginning of 2017 (across Aliter Capital Fund I and Aliter Capital Fund II). www.alitercap.com
About Edwin James Group
Edwin James Group is a leading engineering services provider that specialises in complex, regulated environments. The company leverages technology to support some of the biggest brands in the UK to manage their critical environments and assets. The group operates across a UK network of 16 offices and service centres, offering a complete range of services, including asset care, asset renewal, mechanical, electrical, renewable, energy and process engineering, in addition to complex systems integration and digitalisation to support industry 4.0.
A significant increase in the group order book to £800m in February 2023, up from £545m in 2022, has positioned the business for further growth throughout 2023 and into 2024. The group, which employs over 1,000 staff, has a clear strategy to offer a complete range of infrastructure, process and digital engineering services, covering the full life cycle of assets. www.edwinjamesgroup.co.uk