The buyer is a new company, Bell Rock Bidco, set up by venture capitalists specifically for the acquisition. Financing is provided from funds managed by Lyceum Capital Partners LLP.
The acquired business comprises Johnson Workplace Management, SGP Property & Facilities Management and six related special purpose vehicle (SPV) companies that have specific PFI contracts and account for more than half the revenue.
SGP Property & Facilities Management, together with its six SPV companies, had revenues of £52.3m in 2012, up 12% on 2011, and operating profits up 10% to £4.5m.
Gerry Higgins and Martin Holt will lead the new SGP management team and have been appointed chairman and chief executive respectively. Mr Higgins was the chairman of former Lyceum Capital portfolio company M&C Energy, credited with helping it to grow headcount from 370 to 500 in two and a half years to become the largest outsourced energy management firm in Europe. Mr Holt was chief financial officer of Dalkia when it was acquired by Mitie in 2009. He was subsequently managing director of Mitie Technical Facilities Management.
Kevin Elliott, SGP’s current managing director, will remain with the business in a consultancy role until June 2014. He said: “This transaction represents the next phase in SGP’s development, with the company well placed to continue its strong expansion under the stewardship of the new management team and Lyceum. I look forward to working with them over the coming year to support this growth whilst ensuring an efficient handover process.”
New chairman Gerry Higgins said: “Following this transaction we have a clear and significant opportunity to drive SGP’s expansion through the further development of services and investing in core operations. The company’s existing track record for reliability and cost effectiveness will also be central in creating a ‘total’ FM solutions provider, for which there is real market appetite.”
For Johnson, the sale represents a refocusing on its core business of textile services.