Springboard for growth as ground protection specialist acquired by listed group
Origin UK Operations Ltd, part of Ireland-based Origin Enterprises PLC, has acquired North Yorkshire-based specialist ground protection products supplier, Groundtrax Systems.
The deal is part of Origin UK Operation’s diversification strategy to increase the range of services it offers to its agricultural and groundworks customers.
Groundtrax Systems was founded in 2011 by Simon Adams and provides permanent and temporary ground protection and ground reinforcement systems for applications such as pedestrian access, roads, car parks, storage areas and commercial sites with the capabilities to support heavy goods vehicles and construction plant equipment.
With its storage and distribution facility based in Ripley, Harrogate, the business has experienced strong growth in recent years.
Led by Adams and supported by director Laura Tyrrell and sales manager David Marsh, Groundtrax Systems has built a UK-wide customer base of high-profile organisations operating in the construction, hospitality and transport sectors, amongst others.
As a result of the acquisition, Groundtrax Systems will be integrated into Origin Enterprises PLC as it diversifies its presence in the amenity, environmental and ecological markets.
Dublin-based Origin Enterprises provides agricultural advice, services and products to arable, fruit, vegetable growers amenity and landscaping professionals in the UK, Europe and Brazil.
It also operates amenity, environmental and ecology services, providing a range of consultancy and technical solutions in areas such as sports turf management, landscaping and environmental conservation.
Groundtrax Systems will join a portfolio of nine businesses already operating within Origin’s amenity, environmental and ecology service line.
The existing businesses offer services ranging from line marking paint and machines for sports stadiums and amenities to the supply of pesticides, agrochemicals, fertilizers, grass seed and associated landscaping supplies and equipment for horticultural, equine, forestry, sports pitches and racecourses.
Following completion of the transaction, Adams will remain with the business to support Origin’s plans to accelerate Groundtrax’s growth and assist with integration into the wider group operations.
Advising Adams, who was a 100% shareholder of Groundtrax Systems, was North-East based RG Corporate Finance (RGCF), led by corporate finance partner Nick Johnson, CF manager Adam Tindale and CF executive Max Woodhouse.
Tax due diligence was provided by RG’s director of taxation services, Simon Hopwood and corporate tax partner Simon Whiteside, with financial accounting support provided by BFE Brays, led by partner Laurence Bentley and senior Jamie King.
Legal advice to Groundtrax was provided by Leeds-based LCF Law, led by head of corporate, Susan Clark, corporate law solicitor Brad Stewart, and trainee solicitor, Sara Coleman.
Origin UK Operations received advice and due diligence support from KPMG with a team including associate director Domhnaill Drumm, manager, Conall McNally and partner Gavin Sheehan. Tax due diligence was undertaken by Sara Hamill, tax partner and Helen Morgan, associate director at KPMG.
Legal advice was provided to Origin UK Operations by in house counsel, Aaron Vickery, along with Boyes Turner led by Pearse Connery.
Adams said: “I am exceptionally proud of what we’ve built at Groundtrax Systems with a prestigious portfolio of customers and a reputation for quality and service.
“As part of Origin, the business will experience the next stage of its growth, benefiting from the strong presence the group has in a diverse range of industries, supplementing where we already operate.”
Chris Clark, managing director of Origin Amenity, said: “Groundtrax Systems is a welcome addition to our amenity and landscaping operations as we accelerate the diversification of the group beyond our core agricultural business.
“There are strong synergies with our existing amenity businesses and its products and distribution capabilities will add value to our expanding offering to our key sector client base.”
Nick Johnson, partner at RGCF, added: “Simon, Laura and David have created a brilliant business, which has an exciting future ahead of it as part of Origin.
“Groundtrax has an exceptional reputation for quality of product and service, and the potential market for its products is huge.”