Compliance company breaks ground in Northern Ireland with latest acquisition

West Midlands-based HSL Compliance has acquired Belfast-based water treatment specialist Chemical Treatment Services Ltd (CTS) to accelerate its geographic expansion.

The move gives Ross on Wye-based HSL Compliance a permanent foothold in Northern Ireland for the first time, which will allow the business to grow its services in the country and in the Republic of Ireland.

The transaction is HSL Compliance’s third acquisition in 12 months, after it acquired Jordan Environmental and DMA Canyon in 2022, and takes the company’s headcount to more than 500.

HSL Compliance helps customers to comply with relevant legislation and create safe environments for people to live and work. HSL Compliance specialises in water safety (legionella compliance and water treatment), hazardous materials safety, fire safety, and other associated health, safety and environmental services.

CTS’ offering complements HSL Compliance’s existing range of services. The business was founded in 1984 by Robin Fergusson and provides Legionella control, water treatment and related plumbing works to clients across Ireland from its Belfast headquarters.

Fergusson said: “Its brilliant to mark our 40th year by joining forces with the team at HSL Compliance. Our combined knowledge and capabilities will benefit CTS clients, many of whom have been with us since the beginning, as well as providing great opportunities to our dedicated employees.

“We’re proud to have built CTS from a small start-up into one of the most successful family-run businesses in Belfast. HSL Compliance share our values and ambitions and, with their support, we’re excited to start an exciting new chapter for the company and continue to grow in partnership.”

Following the acquisition, Fergusson, alongside his sons, Directors Jamie and Stuart Fergusson, will continue to lead the running of CTS and the company will continue to operate under its existing brand.

Gavin Hartley, chief executive of HSL Compliance, added: “Robin and the team have built a market-leading operation with services that complement our own. They are the perfect partner to support our continued expansion across the UK as well as providing a gateway to the Republic of Ireland.

“As the regulations businesses must comply with become even more complex, demand for our services continues to increase. Our third acquisition in 12 months will help us to meet this demand and we’re looking forward to seeing what the next year brings.”

The deal team at HSL Compliance was led by Tom Taylor and Gavin Hartley with external financial due diligence support from Ross Wiggins of Menzies (London), and legal support from Arpinder Dhillon of Harrison Clark Rickerby (Ross-on-Wye).

CTS was assisted with legal support by David Rowan of A&L Goodbody Northern Ireland (Belfast) and financial by Kelley Magill of Magill Adams (Lisburn) during the due diligence process.