Renew acquires J Browne Group Holdings for £29.5m

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Renew Holdings plc has agreed to acquire water-focused engineering business, J Browne Group Holdings Limited for £29.5m

J Browne delivers multi-disciplinary infrastructure and non-infrastructure services through a number of longstanding framework agreements, across all disciplines in the water sector.

J Browne provides utility connections and infrastructure services to the developer market in London & the Home Counties.

In the year ended 31 March 2020, J Browne reported profit before tax of £5.5m on turnover of £79.2m (including share of joint ventures).

In its current financial year to 31 March 2021, the business has seen a reduction in activity due to the transition from AMP6 to AMP7 and is expected to report turnover of £63.3m, but this has now increased back to historic run-rate levels as activity has normalised in AMP7.

The acquisition represents an excellent strategic fit, adding material scale to Renew’s water business and brings new water clients into the Group.

The water sector is an attractive market with £51bn committed by Ofwat to deliver service improvements as part of the current five-year investment period (AMP7) which runs to 2025.

A new stage for the buisiness

Jeremy Browne, chairman of J Browne, said: “It was critical for us to have an owner who shares the values that have contributed to our success and one which has demonstrated the necessary expertise to support our growth ambitions.

“The Renew business model and strategy fits perfectly with these aspirations and I believe the J Browne brand will continue to flourish alongside the many other highly respected Renew subsidiary businesses.”

Paul Scott, chief executive of Renew, added: “This acquisition broadens Renew’s exposure to the UK water market and is consistent with our strategic objectives.

“This market offers attractive long-term growth opportunities underpinned by committed regulatory spend and is a sector we understand well from our established relationships in other water regions.

“We have known Jeremy and his team for many years and have tracked how they have successfully grown a business with an excellent reputation for directly delivering reliable engineering services to a number of water companies across the south of England, including Thames Water, the largest in the UK.

“This is a business that shares the values of Renew and I am delighted to welcome the management and staff of J Browne to the Renew family.”

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