Washington-based Fastflow Group on course for £60m sales

Fastflow Group are devising a growth strategy that will create new jobs after acquiring a £25m turnover firm

Fastflow CEO and owner, Neil Armstrong
Fastflow CEO and owner, Neil Armstrong

Utility services provider Fastflow Group has grown its workforce to more than 600 staff after acquiring a £25m turnover maintenance and repair business.

The water and gas pipeline specialist, which has its headquarters in Washington, has broadened its two divisions – Pipeline Services and Energy Projects – with the acquisition of Oxford-based property maintenance and refurbishment business DW Contractors for an undisclosed sum, a deal expected to raise group turnover within reach of £60m.

DW Contractors provides property maintenance, repair and refurbishment services for housing associations, London councils, government agencies, management companies, schools, universities and NHS trusts.

A call centre team provides responsive day-to-day support for tenants and residential housing staff, co-ordinating a team of 300 people, delivering responsive repair as well as planned maintenance, refurbishment and energy saving solutions.

All the staff will transfer to Fastflow, which recorded operating profit of £443,000 on sales of £24m for the year ended March 13.

The firm now plans to put in place an investment and development strategy which will create more jobs and opportunities.

As a well known and well respected company, DW Contractors – which also has depots in London and Reading – will not change its name.

Fastflow chief executive and owner Neil Armstrong, said: “This provides us with an excellent opportunity to diversify and grow our business.

“While the work undertaken by Fastflow in the utility sector is quite different, the two organisations are founded on very similar principles and employ similar working practices, making this deal a great fit.

“Both are customer focused and aware of the need to provide outstanding service. Both have to be able to respond to emergencies and operate around the clock. Both are aware that it is attention to details which makes the difference and both use modern communications technology to support the drive for excellence. It is my belief that both organisations will learn from each other to become even stronger players in their sectors.”

The Fastflow Group was created when Neil Armstrong acquired the business from Northumbrian Water in 2005. Its pipeline services division works for Northumbrian Water, Scottish Water and Anglian Water. Meanwhile, Fastflow Energy Services is based in Warrington and provides a wide range of pipeline and above ground installation projects, mainly to National Grid.

The enhanced group will employ over 600 people and is forecast to turn over approximately £60m in the current financial year.

The deal was brokered by Charlie Barker and Paul Trickett of Deloitte Corporate Finance with legal support from Paul Ellaby of Ward Hadaway. Jamie Fraser of Lloyds Banking Group arranged the finance.

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