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Thu May 30 2024

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Mears plans TerraQuest disposal

6 Nov 20 Housing maintenance contractor Mears has agreed a private equity deal to offload its TerraQuest subsidiary for £72m.

TerraQuest operates the Ministry of Housing’s National Planning Portal, a website that processes 90% of all planning applications in England & Wales.

In 2019 it generated revenues of £20.9m and a profit before tax of £4.9m.

The agreed deal would see TerraQuest taken over by Apse Capital, subject to approval from Mears shareholders. The Ministry of Housing. Communities & Local Government would need to approve the transaction as well.

The sale would reduce Mears’ debt from more than £60m to around £11m.

Mears chief executive David Miles said: "TerraQuest has been a great success story within the Mears Group. Through the provision of both financial and intellectual capital we have created a leading digital and technical services provider to the planning, infrastructure and property sectors across the UK. This transaction secures the next stage of TerraQuest's development and allows Mears shareholders to realise significant value from this investment. 

"The disposal materially strengthens the Mears Group balance sheet and completes our strategic programme to focus on our core activities of specialist Housing services to local and central government clients. We are also delighted at the support we have received from our relationship banks who, in conjunction with the disposal, have significantly increased our covenant headroom over the next twelve months. 

"Our portfolio of high-quality contracts focused on our core housing services and the group's strengthened balance sheet mean we look to the future with confidence."

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