Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Subsidence specialist secures seven-figure loan to support acquisitions

A Midlands-based business which specialises in subsidence monitoring has secured a  seven-figure debt funding package from Frontier Development Capital (FDC) to support its acquisition plans. 

SML Group has already acquired and successfully integrated six businesses in the past 10 years and now employs 160 staff at its headquarters in Leicester and its offices in Edinburgh, Peterborough, Norfolk, Swansea and Arundel, Sussex.

The group operates through a range of brands including My Home Needs, Subsidence Monitoring, Geo Info, Landmark Surveys, Ratcliff Land Surveys, Drillline GPR and The Survey Store. In addition to subsidence monitoring for loss adjusters and insurers, it provides geo-spatial surveys and geo-technical services including materials testing and inspection to the construction industry.

SML Group has doubled its turnover in the past 18 months to £12m and aims to continue this rapid growth in the next five years through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. The business was founded in 2007 by subsidence specialist Thomas Harpin in response to the growing demand for monitoring services. 

Thomas Harpin, who is the group’s CEO, said: “SML Group aims to bring innovation into the traditional world of surveying by providing a single point of contact for multiple services and adopting the latest technologies to give our clients added value.

“We have a strong track record for integrating and successfully growing the businesses we acquire. Surveying is a very fragmented market with lots of small firms so we see scope for further acquisitions. The funding will support our ambition to become the largest multi-disciplinary surveying company in the UK.” 

The Frontier Development Capital team included Charlie Robinson and Kathryn Hoverd. Charlie Robinson, Investment Director, said: “Tom and his team have impressed us with their strategic and operational approach to the subsidence industry.

“SML Group is already a leading service provider and has a clear plan for expansion via both organic and acquisitive growth.  This funding will allow the business to take advantage of the opportunities and continue on its growth path. We are looking forward to partnering with the business on its next stage of development.”

Stephen Humphrey provided fundraising advice to the company and will take on the role of group Chairman going forward. Paul Tallon and Olivia Dowdeswell of Cooper Parry provided financial due diligence to FDC while Iain Wright of Claritas provided tax advice to the company. Chris Jones, Karem Al-Dahleh and Ginny Tan of Gateley plc provided legal advice to FDC, while BHW provided legal advice to SML Group.

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