Wates Group Eyes £2bn Target With Acquistion Of Shepherd Group Divisions

Thursday, 01 October 2015

National family-owned construction and property services company, Wates Group, has today reached an agreement to acquire Shepherd Engineering Services (SES) and Shepherd FM, together with a significant number of contracts and strategic frameworks from Shepherd Construction Limited.

Forming part of Wates Group’s strategic growth plans to double turnover to £2bn, the acquisition of divisions of Shepherd Group’s Built Environment business will substantially enhance Wates’ existing construction, engineering and property services offering and is expected to generate an additional circa £300 million in turnover in year one. The deal also sees Wates strengthen its geographic footprint across the UK, particularly through expansion into new northern markets.

Wates Group is already accelerating towards its ambitious turnover target, with a focus on existing core markets propelling work-in-hand to its highest in five years and a forward order book of £3bn - up 50 per cent on last year.

Marking a major milestone towards Wates’ objective to become the UK’s market leader, the deal unlocks specialist expertise in technical, large-scale construction operations and provides a nationwide facilities management portfolio.

The agreement builds on the success of the Group’s acquisition of Walsall-based Purchase Group in November 2014. This investment saw Wates end the year with a bolstered northern housing maintenance division to complement its southern offering, following the 2011 acquisition of Enfield-based Linbrook.

Shepherd Group will now strategically focus on the remaining parts of its business, including the successful Portakabin Group, and will retain the reputable Shepherd Construction name.

Andrew Davies, Chief Executive of Wates Group, commented: “Today’s acquisition marks another step towards Wates becoming the UK’s leader in the construction and property services sector, now boasting a distinct and outstanding engineering capability, offsite manufacturing proficiency and technical expertise in specialised construction projects.

“Our investment will project us further towards our £2bn target and enable us to make great strides in the fulfilment of our long-term growth strategy.

“The deal is underpinned by a collective commitment to strong moral values of integrity, performance and respect from both organisations; shared principles that are built on a long-standing family heritage.

“We are now preparing to welcome more than 1,200 new colleagues to the business and our immediate priority is to ensure the engagement and alignment of our people, whilst remaining focused on maintaining our reputation for excellent customer service.”

Today’s announcement follows the agreement of Heads of Terms in May, with the two businesses commencing sale discussions in December 2014. 


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Notes to Editors

About Wates Group

Established over 118 years ago, Wates Group is one of the UK’s leading construction companies, employing over 2,000 people and posted a turnover of approximately £1bn in 2014.

A stable presence in a changing market, Wates works on a variety of projects across the public and private sectors, from building new homes and providing planned and responsive maintenance to housing associations and local authorities; through to office interiors; construction projects in the commercial, retail, heritage and education sectors; and partnering on joint-venture developments.

The first privately-owned company ever to be awarded Business in the Community’s Community Mark in recognition of its leadership and excellence in community investment, Wates is distinguished by its commitment to leaving a lasting legacy in the places where it works. It is committed to delivering outstanding projects that are underwritten by adaptability, creativity and sustainability – values which are, in a word, Wates.