Spate of takeovers and expansion puts North West companies in the spotlight

Henrik Pedersen

Colne-based sewer and wastewater network specialist, Detectronic, has been acquired by Harrogate environmental services business, Adler and Allan, for an undisclosed sum.

Detectronic helps customers prevent flooding and reduce pollution. In May last year it announced it had achieved a 140% increase in turnover of £6.7m in the year to April 2021, compared with £2.8m in 2020. Pre-tax profits jumped from £377,500 in 2020 to £1.7m for 2021, and the company grew its headcount by 84% to 60 staff.

Neil Butler, Detectronic managing director, said: “The services Adler and Allan offer, combined with its established position in the utilities market, allows us to extend our expert monitoring and management solutions to more companies.”

The acquisition positions Adler and Allan as a turnkey strategic partner to the utilities sector with services from initial investment planning consultancy, through asset maintenance, environmental monitoring, and emergency pollution response.

Henrik Pedersen, Adler and Allan chief executive, said: “This is our fourth acquisition in the utilities sector, and sixth overall in the last 18 months. It is a further step in the group’s ambitious growth plans to support customers with a broader set of environmental challenges including trade effluent, wastewater management and the hugely divisive and the high-profile topic of CSOs.

“With this latest acquisition we are cementing our position as a strategic partner to the water industry to manage and monitor their assets through the full lifecycle.”

This acquisition follows the announcement that consultative asset management, engineering, and commercial services company Aqua Consultants joined the Adler and Allan Group in February 2023.

Manchester-based Pannone’s corporate team advised the shareholders of Detectronic, a long-standing client of the North West law firm. The team included corporate partner Tom Hall and Andrew Walsh, senior associate. They were supported by Renee Neophytou and Lizzie O’Leary.

Hall said: “Since we first started working with the team at Detectronic more than a decade ago, the company has built up an unrivalled reputation for its innovative and creative approach to environmental services, with extensive experience in sewer and wastewater management.

“The business has achieved enormous success in recent years and the sale to a company of the ambition of Adler and Allan marks an important chapter in Detectronic’s growth journey.”


From left: Ian Liddle, Paul Mulderrig, Georgia Sayer, Jo Smith (Mulderrigs)

North West law firm Farleys Solicitors has made the next move in its growth plans, expanding its regional footprint with the acquisition of Mulderrigs Solicitors.

Based in Rawtenstall, Rossendale for more than 20 years, Mulderrigs specialise in serious injury and professional negligence claims.

The acquisition, which will see Mulderrigs continuing as a trading name of Farleys, and all employees remaining, adds to the firm’s existing expertise and also brings a wider full-service legal offering to Rawtenstall and the wider Rossendale borough.

The move takes Farleys to seven offices across Lancashire and Greater Manchester, and broadens the firm’s existing presence and office footprint in Lancashire, of which it has been part of the local community, for more than 65 years.

This is the first acquisition for Farleys since becoming the second firm to join the Lawfront group in October of last year.

Paul Mulderrig, Director at Mulderrigs said: “It is great to be joining a forward thinking team of people, with a culture that already fits our existing ethos and values.

“With access to a wider range of services and resources and the well recognised brand of Farleys, we look forward to growing our own professional family here in Rawtenstall to continue looking after our clients and their families, and the wider business community across Rossendale.”

Ian Liddle, managing partner at Farleys, said: “This is a great opportunity for Farleys and will unlock many opportunities as we look to build upon the existing well known brand and quality service that is already associated with the Mulderrigs name in the local community.

“We are continuing to invest in a number of key appointments and service areas which is indicative of our plan to increase presence across the region and grow our firm.

“The team at Mulderrigs share our down to earth values, deliver straightforward legal advice and we look forward to working together successfully.”


Carl Truscott

Speed Couriers, the Manchester-based independent same-day and medical courier company, is expanding into Yorkshire.

The company, which was founded 37 years ago, specialises in urgent same day transport for the medical sector across the UK, providing a secure distribution channel for NHS Trusts, GP surgeries and private pathology services.

In addition to collecting and delivering blood, pathology samples, records, it also delivers a wide range of non-medical supplies, from internal mail and small packages up to large non-haulage items.

Director, Carl Truscott, said: “Over the past couple of years, we have been providing more and more courier services across the Pennines. As a result, we are now looking for additional premises in Leeds, ideally in the North East of the city, which will enable us to further develop and have easy access to North and East Yorkshire, too.

“This is a very important move for us as we aim to increase our geographical range and become the largest and most successful independent courier company in the North of England.”

He added: “It is fair to say that the past few years has been hard for the courier and distribution sector with the pandemic changing the face of what is normal and since then rising costs that affect us all. We are proud to be able to buck that trend, having worked hard during this time to protect the 37 years past coming out the other side having grown and developed as a business that provides a respected and reliable same-day service which never lets our customers down.”

The company employs more than 60 drivers and will be looking to add to its fleet to support operations in Leeds and other areas including Bradford, York, Scarborough and Hull.

Mr Truscott added: “These are exciting times for Speed Couriers. Apart from our move into Yorkshire, we are also strengthening our position in other areas across the UK, where we are making good progress with new medical, corporate and private clients.”

The company has also worked hard over the past several years to bring any third party services back to the Greater Manchester area to ensure they support local businesses and the community.

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