WYG buys specialist Cumbria firms

Project management and technical consultancy WYG has acquired Carlisle-based North Associates and its subsidiary Taylor & Hardy for a maximum of £5m to be paid over the next three years.

The acquisition is part of WYG’s plan to benefit from some of the anticipated £90bn of investment as part of the development of Britain’s Energy Coast in West Cumbria, where WYG also expects to use some of the planning skills developed as part of its work elsewhere in the nuclear sector.

Draft accounts of the acquired business for the year ended 31 July 2015 show turnover of £2.9m; profit before taxation of £486,000; and net assets of £359,000.

Operating from offices in Carlisle, North Associates provides specialist property asset management consultancy services to maximise the value of land and property for its clients, who include commercial developers, public sector bodies and regional landowners. Taylor & Hardy is a well-established local planning consultancy which was acquired by North Associates in 2012.

The first £2.3m of the consideration is payable in cash on completion. A further £500,000 of cash consideration is due on the first anniversary of completion, subject to the collection of various debts and the conversion of the work in progress at the time of completion.

The balance of up to £2.2m represents further deferred consideration, payment of which will be dependent upon the recovery of contingent fees over the three years following completion and will also be payable in cash.

Paul Hamer, chief executive of WYG, said: “We are delighted to be joined by the managing director Andy Ross and the teams from North Associates and Taylor & Hardy, who have built a strong reputation in the region.

“We have collaborated successfully with them in the past on several projects and are confident that their experience in residential, energy and infrastructure markets will significantly strengthen our property asset management team. The acquisition will expand our offering across Cumbria and the North, in particular along Britain’s Energy Coast.

“Following on from the acquisitions of Alliance Planning and FMW Consulting, in September 2014 and June 2015 respectively, today’s news further demonstrates WYG’s ability to deliver sustained growth both organically and by acquisition, in line with our strategic growth aspirations.”

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