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Sell off continues at Connaught

30 September 2010

Connaught Compliance Ltd has this week sold its gas and electrical safety services businesses to Centrica plc for £11.2m. Lovell finalises transfered social housing contracts

The joint administrators of Connaught Partnerships Ltd have also agreed the sale of Connaught Academy, one of the UK’s largest independent accredited training centres. Around 600 employees will move from Connaught Compliance to Centrica as part of the deal.
Connaught Electrical offers fixed wiring inspection and testing, electrical engineering support services, portable appliance testing, basic electrical inspections to satisfy insurance criteria and electrical training programmes. Connaught Gas Services offers a full range of gas services from commercial gas servicing and maintenance to new boiler installations, gas safety certification and gas breakdown recovery. Connaught Academy is one of the UK’s largest independent accredited training centres delivering a wide range of plumbing, gas, electrical, water and oil related courses to around 1,000 students a year.
Ian Carlisle, Chief Executive of Connaught Compliance*, comments: “We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Centrica. This fulfills a key element of our ongoing strategy to refocus Connaught Compliance on the core elements of our business whilst retaining the most comprehensive range of health and safety services in the UK. Centrica has made a compelling offer but crucially has an unrivalled ability to leverage economies of scale, expertise and resources in these markets, meaning that the deal makes sense not just financially but also in respect of securing the long term future of both businesses and their employees. The outlook for Connaught Compliance remains positive. The sale of our gas and electrical businesses will allow the management team to focus on growing and developing our core field and advisory services. We now have a unique opportunity to further refine and improve the way we deliver these services, align ourselves even more closely with our clients needs and build upon the quality and service that our customers demand.”
Connaught Compliance, which employs around 1,300 staff in locations across the UK providing H&S compliance services. The business continues to trade profitably as a standalone company having secured ongoing funding from its lenders.
Lovell transfer Connaught contracts
Just a fortnight after the company acquired an interest in the majority of Connaught Partnerships' contracts and related assets, agreements in principle have been secured with 42 local authority and housing association clients for the transfer of contracts to Lovell. More are expected to follow this week.
The deal is a major step forward for Lovell enabling the affordable housing specialist to significantly expand its planned and response maintenance business, extend its geographical coverage and increase its client base. It also gives the firm a unique offering of response and planned maintenance, new-build social housing for rent, and new-build affordable open market homes for sale.
“We are pleased to have secured so many partnerships so quickly and are delighted with the way clients have responded,” says Lovell managing director Stewart Davenport. “Our prompt action has enabled us to provide customers with essential maintenance services with minimal disruption.” Within a short time of the announcement, Lovell had spoken to all of the staff the company inherited, arranged for vans to be refuelled and materials to be freed up and made arrangements for employees to be paid.
“As a company, we are very excited with this deal. In the short time since it was concluded I have been impressed by the dedication and commitment of the staff to their clients. Of course there have been challenges to face and I’m sure there will be a few more but we remain committed to working with the employees we have taken on and our new clients to make the transition as painless and as positive as possible.”

*Ian Carlisle has resumed his post as Chief Executive of Connaught Compliance. The business continues to trade profitably having secured ongoing funding as a standalone company, giving the business the facility to meet its financial obligations and to invest in its future.
Commenting, Ian Carlisle, Chief Executive of Connaught Compliance, said: “I am delighted to resume my role with Connaught Compliance and I am looking forward to working with the team to make the most of the undoubted potential in this business. The last few months have clearly been very difficult for Connaught but we can now look to the future with confidence as a stable, profitable standalone business that is being fully supported by our lenders. This support will allow us to proceed with business as usual and our immediate focus is providing an excellent service for our customers, who I would like to thank for their patience and the support they have given us during this time. The outlook for Connaught Compliance remains positive. We will be continuing with the planned development of the business, which gives us the opportunity to further refine and improve the way we deliver our services, aligning ourselves even more closely with our clients needs and building upon the quality and service that our customers demand. I would also like to thank Mark Faulkner for all his hard work during his time as Interim Chief Executive and wish him all the best for the future.”

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