Support Services sector comment – June 2011


Sector consolidator Viridor Waste acquired Cheshire based cardboard and plastics recycler, Storm Recycling, Glass Tech Recycling acquired the assets of Welsh glass recycler Nationwide Recycling which was placed into administration earlier this month and waste management company SWR acquired Smash and Grab, a firm that produces bottle smashing machinery. Also in waste, private investor syndicate, Hotbed invested £2.5m in waste-to-energy business Enviroparks with plans to build a series of processing plants that generate energy from household waste. Enviroparks, whose Chairman Roger Hewitt built Shanks Group plc from a £9m regional operator into the UK’s largest listed waste management company integrates cutting-edge recycling and energy production technologies, including gasification and anaerobic digestion technology.

The government has unveiled its long-awaited waste strategy outlining ambitions to create a “zero waste” economy. Currently the UK dumps around half its municipal waste into landfill sites – more than any other country in the European Union – which is not only costly to the economy, but unsustainable. The need to minimise waste and the volumes sent to landfill is at the top of the national agenda and the potential for industry growth and the development of a new and sustainable waste management infrastructure is substantial. With waste-to-energy being the only viable large scale alternative to landfill, the opportunities are endless and consolidation in this highly fragmented and fiercely competitive market looks set to continue.


Serco plc acquires Indian business process outsourcer, Intelenet for £385million to expand in emerging markets. Intelenet provides outsourcing services operates in seven countries and works mainly in the financial services, travel, healthcare and telecom sectors. The acquisition is an important strategic move for Serco enhancing its credibility in the higher margin BPO market and increases its international exposure.

The Capita Group Plc acquires specialist healthcare recruitment firm Team24 Limited for £24 million. Team24 provides nurses and doctors at short notice for a wide range of temporary placements across the NHS and the private sector. The acquisition adds depth and breadth of expertise both to Capita’s recruitment business and to the range of services it provides to the NHS and wider healthcare market.

Logica Worldwide acquires Spanish consulting and professional services company Grupo Gesfor to strengthen support for European clients across Spain and Latin America. The total consideration is expected to be up to c. £25 million and will be financed out of existing debt facilities. The acquisition supports Logica’s wider client base particularly its European clients already operating in these markets and will complement its existing presence in Iberia.

Compass Group acquires the remaining 49.9% stake in Turkish food service company Sofra for an undisclosed sum. Sofra provides catering services to 500 major corporations, hospitals, colleges and universities across 40 provinces in Turkey. It also markets its facility management services under the Euroserve brand including utility management, janitorial, security and warehousing management. The acquisition follows Compass’s recent buys in India and rumours of a possible merger with US food service company, Aramark.

Teeside based px Group acquires consulting engineers Simpson Coulson Ltd (SCL). SCL, which is also based on Teeside will become a strategic engineering and project management arm of the px group. It aims to retain the SCL name and enhance the group’s global reach, particularly in the Middle East market. The px group, which was set up in 2002, runs a number of energy facilities in the North East and Cumbria on behalf of companies including Sellafield and Rolls-Royce.

AMEC acquires US engineering and environmental services company MATEC for $280 million, to bolster its Earth & Environmental division. MACTEC employs around 2,600 staff most of which are highly skilled technical professionals and it provides a similar range of services to AMEC’s E&E business, including environmental planning, assessment and remediation, infrastructure engineering, water resources and construction support services. It has a broad range of long-term clients operating in the energy, commercial/industrial, transportation/infrastructure and federal sectors. The company is being acquired for cash from its private equity backers and other individual shareholders. Completion is subject to regulatory approval and is expected by the end of June 2011.

Print management company Danwood Group acquires managed print services provider Document Express. Based in Oldham, Document Express installs and maintains printers, copiers and other equipment. It was founded in 1994 and underwent a management buyout in 2002. The deal value was not disclosed.