Acquisition strengthens building control offering for key industry player

Paul McNeill, Dave Hodgson (Ball & Berry), Max Joy (Sweco), Dave Clark (Ball & Berry), Paul Eggleton (Sweco)

Engineering, environment, design and regulatory consultancy Sweco UK has completed its latest acquisition, for an undisclosed sum.

The Leeds-based group has taken over Preston-based Ball & Berry, which provides Approved Inspector services in several sectors including commercial, residential, education, healthcare, hospitality, industrial and leisure.

Ball & Berry was established in 2007 and operates six offices throughout England, employing around 40 staff. It had reported revenues of £3.4m in 2022.

As a combined business, Sweco says it will now become the building control consultancy of choice delivering the technical and compliance standards across the industry.

The acquisition will also strengthen Sweco’s competencies in all sectors and extend its geographical presence in England.

Max Joy, business area president of Sweco UK, said: “This is an exciting new chapter in Sweco’s growth story here in the UK.

“Sweco and Ball & Berry share the same business and cultural values focused on clients, professional development and creating safe, secure and comfortable spaces for the end user. By coming together, we are ensuring that we have the right skills and knowledge to respond to our clients’ future needs as well as to the upcoming changes to the Building Safety Act.”

Paul Eggleton, division manager for building standards at Sweco, said: “Together, we will strengthen our reputation and expertise as market leaders in the building control sector and continue our class-leading regulatory service guiding clients from design through to building completion.”

Paul McNeill, director at Ball & Berry, said: “Since myself, David Hodgson and David Clarke joined Ball & Berry as directors in 2010/11, the business has undergone a journey of exceptional growth and transformation.

“Over recent years, we’ve opened several new offices in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, London and Maidstone, and recruited highly skilled building control professionals and administrative support staff to service a growing portfolio of clients who rely on our team for outstanding technical expertise that aids quality, seamless and successful projects.

“Coming together with Sweco – a company with the same passion for excellence – was an easy decision. Our combined expertise, and united values, culture and ethos will deliver incredible strength in our marketplace.”

This is the first acquisition for Sweco UK since it acquired MLM Group in May 2019.

Sweco was advised on the transaction by the Leeds offices of Squire Patton Boggs and EY’s transaction diligence and SPA teams, which were led by Paul Mann and Matthew Vernon, respectively. Ball & Berry was represented by Forbes solicitors, led by Jenny Burke.

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