Aaron is a heating services and installations company, providing services primarily for housing associations and local authorities in East Anglia and the surrounding region. Lakehouse has paid an initial £6.7m for the business, which was founded by Dawn and Allan Wright in 1985.
Lakehouse said that Aaron would complement the activities of its other gas compliance businesses: K&T Heating, which operates in London and the southeast, and the recently acquired Sure Maintenance, which operates in the north of England and the Midlands.
Aaron has 390 employees, of which some two thirds are in engineering functions. It is headquartered in Ipswich, with regional offices in Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Essex.
Until takeover, the business was owned by Dawn and Allan Wright and their immediate family, together with the current managing director David Lummis and commercial director Jon Posey.
Following completion of the acquisition, David Lummis, Jon Posey and the current management team will remain with the business. As a result of the acquisition, Lakehouse’s total headcount will rise to more than 2,300.
Under the terms of the acquisition, the consideration comprises an initial amount payable in cash on completion of £6.7m to the sellers of the business and further deferred consideration of up to a maximum of £3.3m, which is dependent on Aaron’s financial performance up to 30th September 2017.
In the financial year ended 31 March 2015, Aaron reported a turnover of £26.3m and profit before tax of £900,000. It had gross assets of £10.5m at year-end.
Lakehouse floated on the stock exchange in February 2015 and has since made five acquisitions.
Executive chairman Stuart Black said: “Aaron’s specialist skills, client base and business infrastructure give us a platform to capitalise on the growth opportunities from within the UK compliance services industry.
“Supporting the existing services of our compliance division, the acquisition will extend the geographical footprint of the group’s gas business and enhance Lakehouse’s already solid platform throughout East Anglia and the Midlands for all its services and creates further opportunities for cross-selling.”
Aaron managing director David Lummis said: “We’re thrilled to be joining Lakehouse, which will allow us to build on a successful period of strong and consistent growth. Combining our specialist skills with the group’s experience and client base means we are in the best position to bolster our presence in the compliance market, strengthening our existing relationships and extending our high levels of customer service across a widened geographical reach.”