These Lancashire accountants worked on a national water company acquisition

A Lancashire accountants and business advisory firm has helped a water company gain new owners.

By Tim Gavell
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 12:30 pm

MHA Moore and Smalley, which has offices in Preston and Blackpool, helped with the acquisition of Water Direct, a supplier of alternative and emergency water services based in Essex, a deal that secures new growth investment for the business.

The transaction facilitates a management buy-in led by Adam Johnson, principal of Soris Capital Partners, who will run the business as chief executive.

The corporate finance team at MHA Moore and Smalley provided financial and tax due diligence and wider deal advisory input. The deal has been backed by Ethos Partners and a debt package provided by Shawbrook Bank.

Simon Carruthers, of MHA Moore and Smalley

The deal team at MHA Moore and Smalley was led by Simon Carruthers and Ian Waddingham in the corporate finance team and tax partner David Bennett.

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Simon Carruthers, corporate finance director, said: “This is a significant transaction that enables new investment and exciting growth potential for a company that plays such a vital role in ensuring the continuity of water supplies in the UK.

“We’re proud to have supported Adam in putting together this important deal and wish the team luck as they embark on this next phase of the journey.”

Water Direct has been bought from FGS Utilities Limited a provider of agricultural contracting, recycling, and utility services. The deal enables FGS to focus on its core business.

Adam Johnson, CEO, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the talented and dedicated team at Water Direct at a pivotal moment in the company’s journey, as we grow our industry-leading A&E water services with water utilities and commercial customers across the UK. I am also very excited to invest further in our WaterTight™ contingency planning offering to do our part in keeping Britain’s water supply always on.”

Jonathan West, the current managing director of Water Direct, will step back from his leadership role while continuing to provide his services to the company on a part-time basis. The rest of Water Direct’s current management team and 49 staff will work alongside Adam to drive the continued growth of the business.

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