A corporate team from Hammonds in Birmingham has advised the AIM-listed environmental management firm Fountains as it was taken over by the Connaught group.
Hammonds worked on a £13.3 million share offer that is awaiting shareholder approval.
Banbury-based Fountains has operations throughout the UK and parts of the United States. The company was established in 1957 as a forestry management operation and grew to become an expert in grounds maintenance, vegetation and tree management.
It works with clients in central and local government, power and utility companies, the transport industry and the private commercial sector. Clients include EDF, National Grid, British Waterways, London Borough of Wandsworth and London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
With British Waterways, Fountains won the contract to undertake day-to-day plant and equipment care on the nation’s locks and canals. The three-year programme, which started in April, is worth an estimated £5 million a year.
The contract supports British Waterways’ in-house engineering and bank staff in providing essential repairs and waterway maintenance.
Connaught is an FTSE-250 listed provider of integrated community and compliance services to the public and private sectors in the UK. The company operates in the social housing, environmental and compliance markets and employs more than 8,000 across 115 offices in the UK. Connaught’s environmental business provides grounds maintenance, estates management and street cleansing to local authorities and housing associations.
The takeover of Fountains by Connaught will create an enlarged group able to offer broader services to the environmental market across the UK. It will also enable the group to expand its market share as customers increasingly seek to award multiple outsourced services contracts to a single provider.
Hammonds has been acting for Fountains since 2007, providing commercial advice on major new contracts, most recently on its largest contract to date with EDF which is estimated to be worth up to £9 million of revenue per annum.
The Hammonds team advising Fountains on the takeover was led by Christian Lowis, head of public equity in Birmingham, assisted by corporate lawyer Ben Gordon-Smith.
Christian Lowis said: “We are delighted to have advised on what is potentially a step-change transaction for both parties in terms of their operational scale in the environmental market.
“This offer comes at the end of a period of successful implementation of a revised strategy by the Fountains Management team, who will play an important role in taking forward the enlarged environmental division of Connaught. We wish them every success.”