August 12 2019 @ 7:18 by Steven Hugill
A Gateshead-based testing, inspection and certification firm has bought an asbestos management, surveying and testing operator.
Lucion Services has acquired Askams Compliance Services.
Bosses at Lucion say the deal will provide clients with quicker access to asbestos services and introduce new specialisms through Askams’ Nuclear Active lab in the North West.
The acquisition of Askams marks the first following Lucion’s investment by Palatine Private Equity in May 2019.
Operating as a multidisciplinary risk management group focused on hazardous materials, Lucion is headquartered in Gateshead but operates nationally, working with partners to achieve full compliance with UK occupational safety and environmental regulations.
Founded in 2006 by Stewart McNicholl, Askams, which has an office in Cramlington, Northumberland, has grown to provide national clients with a full range of UKAS-accredited asbestos management services, including asbestos surveying, testing and analytical services, as well as UKATA asbestos awareness training.
The deal – funded by Palatine, together with a debt funding package provided by HSBC – provides an exit for the founder shareholders, including Stewart, who will leave his role as managing director after 12 years.
Jamie McGivern, Lucion chief financial officer, said: “Our new relationship with Askams highlights the highly ambitious attitude which runs throughout the firm, in line with our strategy of combining organic and acquisitive growth.
“With the Askams team coming on board, we will be able to offer our clients the same incredible services that they’ve become accustomed to at an even quicker rate.
“The new offices also allow us to reduce travelling time when reaching certain clients, which will also positively impact our environmental targets.
“With the financial backing of Palatine, we are delighted to be able to execute the Askams deal, and I am looking forward to continuing growing the business with the help of the team.”
James Winterbottom, Palatine investment director, added: “The speed at which this deal was completed demonstrates the confidence Palatine and the Lucion team have behind our buy and build strategy.
“The company has shown its ambition to grow rapidly, and we are more than happy to provide support and funding to enable this expansion.
“The addition of Askams will consolidate Lucion’s role as market leader while widening its range of services, and we look forward to supporting more acquisitions as it looks to strengthen its position in the market further.”