Inspection specialist acquires monitoring and surveying firms

SOCOTEC UK, a market leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) services for the construction and infrastructure sectors, has acquired IETG, specialists in flow level, temperature, and water quality monitoring, and 40SEVEN, renowned for their industry leading expertise in land and utility surveying services. 

This strategic acquisition, with a combined workforce of 160 professionals and a revenue of £13m, significantly enhances SOCOTEC UK’s service portfolio and extends its geographic reach. The total turnover of Doncaster-based SOCOTEC UK now stands at £200m. 

The shareholders of IETG and 40SEVEN, both headquartered in Swillington, near Leeds,  were advised by a host of Yorkshire advisers. Corporate finance advice was provided by Dow Schofield Watts (Paul Herriott, Roger Esler and Matt Spence) with legal advice being provided by Gordons (Jonathan Asquez, Lucy Leyland and Lauren Wurzel) and taxation advice from Tax Advisory Partnership (Russ Cahill).

Paul Herriott, Corporate Finance Partner at Dow Schofield Watts, said, “having advised on the original buy-out of IETG and 40SEVEN from NYSE-listed IDEX in 2016, we were delighted to have advised the team once again on this cross-border strategic deal with SOCOTEC. The acquisitions represent a great enhancement to SOCOTEC’s service offering across the UK and we wish the teams at IETG and 40SEVEN the very best as part of this substantial, international group.”

In 2023, the UK Government issued the first revision of its 25 Year Environment Plan, placing a critical focus on mitigating impacts on the water environment. Water companies are now tasked with meeting stringent targets and commitments through enhanced transparency and monitoring mechanisms outlined in the Environment Act. 

IETG, experts in planning, monitoring, and measuring, are uniquely positioned to support water companies and wider stakeholders across the UK in achieving regulatory compliance. Their services, including flow surveys, water quality monitoring and sampling, pollution alarms, level monitoring, temperature and hydrogen sulphide monitoring, are instrumental in ensuring adherence to environmental regulations. 

40SEVEN’s specialist surveying services, encompassing topographical and measured building surveys, as well as underground utility and gas hazard surveying, aligns seamlessly with SOCOTEC’s existing surveying and monitoring capabilities. This acquisition further bolsters SOCOTEC’s extensive portfolio, providing clients with comprehensive in-house solutions throughout the asset lifecycle. 

Nicolas Detchepare, chief executive of SOCOTEC UK, said: “The acquisitions of IETG and 40SEVEN reinforce and diversify our existing environmental division. With the addition of remote monitoring capabilities, we are now the leading provider in the UK, supporting our clients in complying with the rigorous legislation established by the Environmental Act. This acquisition solidifies SOCOTEC’s position as a leader in remote monitoring and advanced geospatial solutions within Infrastructure, Utilities, Environment, and Construction. The acquisition supports our ambition to become the leading integrated player in the UK, helping businesses mitigate environmental impacts and build a more resilient, sustainable future” 

Ian Edwards, managing director, IETG and 40SEVEN said: “We can see fantastic opportunities ahead for IETG and 40Seven and after 7 years of investment support from Bentley O-S, at this crucial time, we needed strategic investment and size, matched by a similar culture and drive to achieve our goals and continued growth strategy. SOCOTEC provides the ideal platform and seamless transition, whilst bringing a strategic mindset, strong covenant, credibility, financial strength, and support, and providing future opportunities for our staff to thrive and develop. We are excited and looking forward to the next stage of our journey within the SOCOTEC Group.” 

Herve Montjotin, chief executive of SOCOTEC Group, said, “There is a perfect operational and cultural fit between IETG/40SEVEN and SOCOTEC UK. With this seasoned and cohesive team joining SOCOTEC, we will enlarge our service offering especially in the environmental field and confirm our leadership in the UK.”