Contractors merge with fresh equity backing

Merseyside Special Investment Fund has put £1.4m into an equity stake to support expansion of Birkenhead-based building firm Foz Contract Services.

The firm has been formed following the acquisition of related businesses Foz Electrical and TFR Contract Services. The management from both companies will now form one team and the business will offer a broad range of services including electrical, mechanical, external and internal wall insulation, renewable energy initiatives, building services and solar panel installation.

Foz was originally set up in 2004 by managing director Chris Foran who went on to form TFR in 2012 in conjunction with two ex-directors of Carillion Contract Services, Paul Turner and John Roche to move into the insulation markets.

MSIF has previously invested in both businesses, whose customers include Seddon Group, MITIE Group, Lovell, HT Forrest, Carillion, Wirral Council and a number of housing associations.

Chris Foran said: "We identified that the business had moved away from being an electrical contractor into a group of specialist services. To fully exploit future opportunities we wanted to merge Foz and TFR to create a stronger business and the significant investment from MSIF has enabled us to do this. The support of MSIF in growing our businesses has been vital since 2009. It was our experiences with them that gave us confidence that MSIF were the right investment partner to continue our growth development plan.

"We are also in the process of establishing and expanding our management team and infrastructure to support our aspirations, and ensuring the controlled growth set out in the business plan."

MSIF investment director Mark Borzomato said: "Under Chris's stewardship Foz has gone from strength-to-strength and has a strong track record for growth. The company has built up an impressive reputation in the marketplace and with the support of the newly formed management team is ideally placed to continue its growth."

Turnover this year will exceed £12m and this figure is expected to double during the next three years. Foz currently employs 53 staff and a number of specialist sub-contractors.

Hill Dickinson provided legal advice to MSIF and DSG advised on financial due diligence. O'Connors provided legal advice to Chris Foran with the incoming management team advised by Brabners Chaffe Street. Dow Schofield Watts provided corporate finance advice.

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