Lancashire engineering firm acquired by North East suitor

px Group headquarters

A Lancashire engineering firm has been taken over, for an undisclosed sum, by a North East suitor.

Fairport Engineering, based in Adlington, and its 70-strong workforce, is now part of the Stockton-on-Tees-based infrastructure solutions business and energy site operator px Group.

The deal includes Fairport Tunnelling Technologies, based in Sunderland, and is the first by px Group since it was acquired by Ara Partners, in April 2021.

Until now, px Group had not had an ‘in-house’ materials handling offering but now, through the Fairport team, will be able to offer materials handling design, construction, and management both nationally and internationally.

Materials handling expertise is required to transport, import and export materials such as fuels and feedstock, as well as product, from both single industrial plants and large scale sites.

Following the deal, px Group said the location and having ‘boots on the ground’ in the North West was a key factor in the decision to bring Fairport into the group.

Geoff Holmes, px Group CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be adding Fairport’s expertise to px group’s offering – the company is full of brilliant people who are experts in their field. We would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to Neil Hyde, Neil Hargrave, and their teams.

“This is a strategically important move for px Group, given Fairport’s strong footprint in the North West and its industry-leading materials handling capabilities. The company has had a strong financial performance in recent years and should integrate seamlessly into our business model.”

He added: “The Fairport teams are trusted experts. When we conducted our due diligence, clients and stakeholders could not have been more glowing about Fairport’s people and the way they work. That approach has been instilled by Fairport’s departing chairman, Paul Fitton, and we are, therefore, delighted that Paul will still be available to support the business on a consultancy basis.”

Neil Hyde, managing director of Fairport Engineering, said: “This is a major next step in the Fairport journey. We are in our 40th year this year and joining up with px Group, a world class company delivering essential services to the UK energy industry, is a terrific way to celebrate that.”

Neil Hargrave, managing director of Fairport Tunnelling Technologies, said: “Throughout the process, Geoff Holmes and his team stressed px Group’s owner-operator approach – which in practice means treating assets as if they were your own. That’s the way business should be, and it goes hand in hand with the way we do things – px Group is a fantastic fit for Fairport.”