WestBridge to survey new markets in specialist buy and build acquisition

WestBridge acquire stake in Survey Solutions

WestBridge have taken a majority stake in Survey Solutions, a provider of engineering surveying and monitoring services with a sizable presence in the North West and a network of regional offices they are looking to expand.

The £14.2m equity cheque from WestBridge is also backed by ThinCats, the alternative debt finance provider which has provided what it describes as “a significant debt funding package”.

The business is expected to pursue a buy and build strategy under the ownership of private equity firm WestBridge and the transaction provides an exit for London-based mid-market private equity investor RJD Partners, and the founder James Cooper.

First formed in 1997, Survey Solutions has grown to become a national company with 14 regional offices, including in Coventry, Birmingham, Bristol, Somerset, Nottingham and Wilmslow. Most of its 160 full time employees are specialist surveyors.

As an initial buy and build, the company also acquired North West-based Survey Systems in February 2021 and moved the business to new premises at Riverside Business Park in Wilmslow.

Clients in the region include Manchester United FC, where a measured building survey was completed (and tops the website), and work for the National Trust at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal. 

Other customers include Thames Water, Transport for London, Aecom, Jacobs, Balfour Beatty and Kier.

The buyout was led by David Lowe, who joined the company as chief executive in 2022, who has grown the business both organically and through acquisition.

David Lowe

He said: “Survey Solutions holds a strong position in a niche and extremely fragmented market, with high barriers to scale. There is significant opportunity for growth, both organically and through consolidation. My colleagues and I have been immensely impressed with the team from WestBridge, who share our belief in the huge potential for growth that lies ahead. We are particularly enthused by the WestBridge Value Creation Model, which provides a blueprint for rigorously identifying revenue accelerating improvements and growth opportunities within the business.”

He added: “I would like to thank RJD Partners for their support in the development of the business to date, and wish them the very best for the future.”

The WestBridge transaction team comprised Rebecca Sinclair and Peter Barkley, who both join the Survey Solutions board as directors, and Luke Gilbert, who becomes a board observer and will coordinate value creation initiatives.

WestBridge’s investment in Survey Solutions was advised by the deal team at Clearwater International, consisting of Partners Rob Burden and Tom Barnwell, Directors Andy Battersby and Mark Maunsell, alongside Andrew Hatch, Rory Crossen and Conal Gallagher.

New Bailey

The Manchester team at Survey Solutions recently completed laser scanning of the new nine storey 4 New Bailey building in Manchester (pictured) to deliver data for each of the floors.

The building has been let to BT on a 20 year lease, the largest single-let in the region since 2020. The building has a unique design with inspiration from bridges over the canals and rivers in Manchester city centre, on top of the old Mark Addy pub. By utilising laser scanning technology they were able to capture all site data quickly.

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