PE investment set to boost highways service provider

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Livingbridge has made a significant investment in Carnell Support Services, a provider of specialist support services to the highways sector.

Clearwater Corporate Finance advised Livingbridge on the deal, which will provide Carnell with finance to help fund its future growth.

Carnell, which is based in Penkridge, Staffordshire, employs over 100 people and provides specialist support services to the Highways Agency principally through technology service providers and large FM providers.

The company operates through two divisions – Highways Services and Communication Services. The Highways Services division provides a diverse range of maintenance services which improve the efficiency of drains and prolong the life of drainage assets across the strategic highways network. The Communication Services division focuses exclusively in the highways communications, maintaining communications and infrastructure and helping to develop and implement technology solutions.

Carnell was co-founded by Darren Nelson in 1992. Darren Nelson comments: “This investment provides the perfect platform for Carnell to continue to innovate, grow and develop further. We have seen record growth that has seen the business double in size over the last two years, all of which is set to continue.

“Livingbridge are the right partner to assist Carnell and invest in its future plans to deliver services and new products to new and existing customers and move into new sectors. The management team are relishing the challenge of a very exciting opportunity.”

The Clearwater team was led by partner Mike Reeves and included Nick Holder. Mike Reeves said: “Carnell provides innovative solutions to many of the problems affecting the nation’s road network and has forged strong relationships with customers throughout the UK. It is set for rapid growth over the coming years and this investment by Livingbridge will help it to achieve that.”

James Hall of Livingbridge commented: “Carnell is a fast growing, well positioned, innovative business in a sector that is forecast to grow strongly. The government is committed to making better use of the existing strategic highways network through the increased use of communication and telecommunications and Carnell are well placed to take advantage of this.”