Clearwater advises SOL Construction on acquisition by ROK plc

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Rok plc, the building, maintenance and development company, announced today that it had acquired SOL Construction which has offices in Nottingham and Warwick. Rok operates from a network of offices in major towns and cities across the UK including Birmingham.

Founded in 1967, SOL provides construction, building and maintenance services – planned and response – to a wide range of customers across the Midlands. It employs 413 staff, of whom 251 are trades people working for the maintenance division. SOL’s housebuilding division, SOL Homes, does not form part of this transaction and will continue to trade separately as SOL Homes Ltd.

On completion of the deal, Rok will pay £19.0m, £4.0m of which will be in Rok shares. Further consideration of up to £2.0m is payable dependent on the financial performance of SOL for the year to 31 March 2008. In the year ended 31 March 2006 the divisions of SOL being bought by Rok reported pre-tax profits of £2.8m and are expected to report pre-tax profits of £2.7m for the year ended 31 March 2007. Net assets of SOL on completion will be £7.0m which includes £7.0m of free cash.

Commenting on the acquisition, Garvis Snook, chief executive of Rok, said: “The Midlands region has been a key target area for Rok for some time. SOL is a highly regarded business in this market place and we are delighted that the SOL team has agreed to join Rok.

This acquisition will enable us to extend our operations in the Midlands as we pursue our vision of being The Nation’s Local Builder. Importantly, it further expands our own labour force where our preference for direct delivery of services is key to customer satisfaction and margin growth. The acquisition will enable SOL to expand in the Midlands marketplace through its access to the resources and services that Rok can offer.”

Adrian Whiteside, managing director of SOL, commented: “We are pleased to be joining Rok and to be part of their ambitious expansion plans, which involve us playing a major role in the planned growth of their operations in the Midlands.

“SOL has operated in the Midlands area for almost 40 years and during that time has built an enviable client base and a reputation for providing an excellent service, which we are confident will be further enhanced as part of Rok.

“Of equal importance to the business benefits, are the opportunities this will present to our workforce, who have loyally supported us over the years. They have played a major part in the success of SOL Construction and we are sure this will continue with Rok.”

Phil Burns, partner with Clearwater Corporate Finance who advised SOL Construction, assisted by Katie Wood, added: “Having worked with SOL for over ten years it is a pleasure to have helped this leading Midland’s business move forward to the next stage of its development under Rok and to see its management rewarded for the value they have created in the business.”