Clearwater Corporate Finance advises AIMS Group on its acquisition of Willis Safety Solutions

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The Manchester office of Clearwater Corporate Finance has advised the Northampton-based AIMS Group Services Ltd on its acquisition of Willis Safety Solutions (WSS) for an undisclosed sum.

Located in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, WSS is a national provider of health and safety inspection, consultancy and training services to the construction sector. The business has developed strong relationships with leading national house builders and its services include; health and safety inspection for construction sites, planning supervisory services, health and safety management audit services together with training for management and staff.

The AIMS Group, which has trading subsidiaries in Peterborough, Suffolk, Surrey and Ayrshire, provide a wide range of consultancy services to its clients on areas such as health and safety, fire, asbestos, disability and water safety.

This acquisition, in a market which is being driven by increasingly stringent regulation, will enable AIMS to grow one of its core competencies; health and safety consultancy to the construction sector.

This is the second deal Clearwater have advised the AIMS Group on within the last three months. Back in March, Clearwater advised the AIMS management on a £7.5 million “investment for growth” deal. The transaction, which was debt funded by Lloyds TSB, saw the equity provider Livingbridge take a 38% stake in the group with the majority retained by the existing management and employees.

AIMS Group is a highly profitable consultancy with over 120 employees and forecast sales this financial year of £11m. Managing director Graham Brown commented, “We are looking forward to welcoming the WSS employees into the Group and establishing AIMS as a leading provider of health and safety services to the construction sector, whilst being able to offer that sector the full range of consultancy services available to all AIMS clients.

Clearwater principal Mike Reeves, who worked with corporate finance director Simon Lord on the deal, said the acquisition represented an excellent opportunity for AIMS to grow its consultancy division in one of its core business areas. “The Group has an excellent track record of acquiring consultancy businesses and then servicing new and existing clients with the Group’s expertise across a wide range of sectors.”

Birmingham-based Gateley Wareing (Paul Hayward and Simon Gill) advised the AIMS Group whilst the vendors were advised by DLA in Birmingham.