CET Group: Navigating a complex sale process
Established in 1989, the CET Group provides specialist infrastructure and property assurance services from its headquarters in Castle Donington and its numerous regional facilities.
CET’s infrastructure division operates from a nationwide network of regional offices and UKAS accredited testing laboratories, providing a comprehensive range of materials testing and inspection services. The property assurance arm of the business provides specialist claim response, property risk investigation and issue mitigation services for the UK insurance claims sector.
Our team has advised CET on the acquisitions of four complementary businesses in recent years. In 2016 we acted on the acquisitions of The Testing Group Limited and Omega Calibration Laboratories Limited and in 2018 (during the wider sale process), we acted on the acquisitions of triAqua Limited and the insurance claims management and related building maintenance response businesses of Mitie Property Services (UK) Limited.
In November 2018 our team acted for Equity Harvest Fund, along with all individual sellers, on the sale of CET Group Holdings Limited to Project C Bidco Limited, a company formed by management for the purpose. The acquisition was supported by funding from Beechbrook Capital LLP and Clydesdale Bank Plc, along with investment from Palatine Private Equity.
As well as being central in the success of our four recent acquisitions, the Gateley team patiently prepared the business assiduously for the exit process. It was a good seamless team effort across their Midlands offices, and the team were cheerfully accessible with sound advice.
We guided the sellers and their management team through a comprehensive vendor due diligence process which enabled us to identify and resolve any matters likely to delay the sale process before the CET Group was marketed for sale. We built a carefully structured data room to support our vendor due diligence report and worked with the sellers' other advisers to produce mid-transaction reports on further acquisitions. Together with Clearwater International we supported the sellers through the auction sale process evaluating and advising on the legal implications of competing bids and once Palatine had been granted exclusivity, the ground work that we had undertaken enabled the buyer and its funders to move quickly and smoothly to completion.
David Williams, exiting Chairman of CET Group said: “Owing to its long history, CET Group was above average in complexity. As well as being central in the success of our four recent acquisitions, the Gateley team patiently prepared the business assiduously for the exit process. It was a good seamless team effort across their Midlands offices, and the team were cheerfully accessible with sound advice. Their diligence paid off under the intense scrutiny of investors, and CET was ‘match fit’ and well presented for the sale process. This led to a fine conclusion that delighted all stakeholders.”
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