Ventilation specialist grows with acquisition of competitor

Pie Heroes

National ventilation hygiene and system surveying company, Ventilation Surveys & Services (VSS), has acquired 100% shareholding of competitor Sani-Duct Installations.

The deal will see VSS retain Sani-Duct’s Camberley office and 15 staff, giving the Liverpool-based firm an increased national spread of employees and clients.

VSS provides ductwork and air conditioning cleaning and maintenance and fire compliance testing for businesses throughout the UK, including Pizza Hut, Moto, Marks & Spencer, Sodexo and a large number of NHS trusts.

Sani-Duct’s specialism in kitchen extraction servicing will expand its client-base, particularly in the South.

“We have known Sani-Duct for around 20 years, through trade associations, and it came to our attention that owners Linda Jackson and Brian Hargreaves were looking for someone suitable to take on the business,” VSS chief executive George Friend explained.

“The deal was finalised in December and we are delighted that Linda and Brian will be staying on during the two-year merger process.”

He continued: “We will be retaining all staff and contracts, bringing our current team to 90 and increasing our revenue by around £1m per year.”

Staff from the two businesses met for the first time last week, at VSS’ annual team meeting, held at Liverpool’s Jury’s Inn.

Since relocating to the city’s Sandon Industrial Estate four years ago, VSS has grown its team by more than 50 staff, and this year expects this figure to increase to 100.

This will include an additional six employees in Northern Ireland to take on a new ventilation cleaning and fire compliance contract for the NHS.

“Moving to Liverpool from Hertford gave us the foundations to grow, particularly thanks to the regional funding we successfully applied for,” George said.

“It is a fantastic hub for us, and particularly convenient for our Northern Ireland engineers and customers.”

The creation of its head office, which includes a BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) training centre with industry-leading facilities, was made possible thanks to The North West Fund for Loans Plus, managed by FW Capital, and Liverpool’s Mayoral Investment Fund, using Regional Growth Fund money.