This is Lakehouse’s fifth acquisition since 2011 and is intended to bolster the capabilities of its compliance division, which already provides fire safety and gas & heating services through Allied Protection and K&T Heating, acquired in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
To expand its geographical reach and sustainability offering, Lakehouse last year acquired an East Anglian contractor and property services company, Foster Property Maintenance, and Scottish insulation and energy services group Everwarm in April this year.
Based in Basildon, H2O specialises in legionella control and was founded in 1998 by Steve Lorriman and Martin Stevenson, both of whom will join the Lakehouse management team as directors of its water treatment business.
H2O provides services for approximately 350 clients across 1,000 properties. Current clients include local authorities, housing associations, NHS Trusts, student accommodation providers and hotel and leisure operators. The company employs 40 staff and in 2013/14 reported a turnover of £3.4m.
H2O will become part of Allied Protection, which has seen turnover double since becoming part of the Lakehouse Group.
With the H2O acquisition, Lakehouse’s total headcount rises to approximately 1,250.
November 2013 saw the first major regulatory update to legionella control in a decade, and the market is expected to grow as property managers review their practices and seek to meet new health and safety requirements.
Lakehouse executive chairman Stuart Black said: “H2O Nationwide fits perfectly within Lakehouse’s compliance division and this deal is another positive step in our strategy to acquire successful, complementary businesses. By embedding H2O alongside our fire protection and gas services, we will bolster our offering to social housing and public sector clients and give them confidence in meeting their regulatory requirements.
“There is strong cultural alignment between our businesses and we are both closely focused on maintaining our excellent delivery record, creating new opportunities and cross-selling our services, as well as further developing our client and supply chain partnerships.”
H2O Nationwide managing director Steve Lorriman said: “Joining Lakehouse opens up new opportunities for H2O to develop and grow organically. The partnership is an excellent fit as we share similar client bases, a customer-focused offering, and commitment to quality of service. Under an updated regulatory regime, there is strong demand for compliance advisors who provide specialist expertise and a reliable service. H2O is dedicated to supporting property managers in fulfilling their obligations around water hygiene and legionella, something at the forefront of landlords’ minds following a number of high profile outbreaks in recent years.”