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Lakehouse targets Green Deal with latest acquisition

23 Apr 14 Building contractor Lakehouse has taken over Scottish energy services group Everwarm, its fourth acquisition in the past four years.

Founded in 2011, Everwarm specialises in installing energy-saving measures, including insulation and renewable energy schemes, for homes and businesses across the UK.  Like Lakehouse, it does a lot of work for housing associations. It has 250 staff across its offices in Bathgate in West Lothian and Bedford, England.

In the last financial year – only its third year of trading – Everwarm recorded a turnover of £46m and pre-tax profits of £6m. It is an approved PAS 2030 assessor and installer for ECO and Green Deal measures. 

Everwarm managing director Michael McMahon said: “Our deal with Lakehouse is the result of a year-long search for a suitable partner.  Rather than a corporate investor, we were looking to join with a business that would allow us to diversify our range of services and help us build on our success to date.  We have found a like-minded partner in Lakehouse and joining the group will allow us to offer more to our clients.

“Becoming part of the Lakehouse group gives us scope for long-term growth in England.  Working in Scotland, where green funding is significantly more generous, we have rapidly built expertise through delivering funding and installation across more than 45,000 properties in just three years.  Now, we look forward to growing our English operation within the Lakehouse group and bringing a wider asset management offer to clients in Scotland.”

The merger represents an expansion of Lakehouse’s geographical reach in Scotland and into the renewables and energy efficiency market. The Everwarm name will be retained in Scotland but dropped in the rest of the UK.

Everwarm joins the group through an all share deal, with the merger taking place debt free and maintaining Lakehouse’s low gearing levels.

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The addition of Everwarm takes Lakehouse’s total headcount to approximately 1,200.

Everwarm becomes the fourth business to join the Lakehouse group since 2011.  K&T Heating Services, a gas servicing, installation and compliance business, was taken over in 2011; Allied Protection, a West Sussex-based fire safety and compliance specialist, joined in 2012; and East-Anglia based Foster Property Maintenance was added in October 2013.

Lakehouse last month announced a 24% growth in turnover for 2012/13 to £190.6m.  Pre-tax profit increased 48% to £7.1m. 

Lakehouse executive chairman Stuart Black said: “This merger represents another milestone in Lakehouse’s programme of acquiring successful, complementary businesses that expand our capabilities and reach.  With so much debate about the direction of policy in the sustainability sector, we see this deal as a vote of confidence in the green economy and the fact that energy efficiency, fuel poverty and zero carbon homes are going to remain central to any government’s agenda.

“Sustainability is a fundamental plank of our business and we’ll be drawing on Everwarm’s impressive delivery record to expand our retrofit division.  There are huge opportunities in London and southeast England – a domestic market which is remarkably immature in terms of retrofit and energy efficiency.

“The merger will allow Lakehouse and Everwarm to leverage each other’s strengths and service offerings across the areas we cover.  We share a culture of aspiration, entrepreneurship and flexibility in delivery, and this deal opens up new opportunities both for us and our clients.”

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