Renew acquires Forefront Group

LEEDS-based engineering services group Renew has agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of Forefront Group for £14.8m.

The acquisition has been funded from the group’s cash resources and a four year term loan of £12m provided by HSBC Bank, and will be earnings enhancing to Renew.

Forefront operates in the South East of England. The business focuses on the replacement of gas mains and other critical services for National Grid and Southern Gas Networks in London and the South East. Forefront was principally owned by Harwood Capital and associated entities and the company’s founder and chief executive, Bradley Beard.

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Mr Beard has entered into a new 12 month service contract, which cannot be terminated by either party within the first two years and the whole Forefront management team will remain with the business. Mr Beard will report to Renew’s chief executive, Brian May.

Roy Harrison, the chairman of Renew, said: “The acquisition of Forefront takes the group into a new sector within the energy market and is in line with our strategy of broadening our range of engineering services supporting critical UK infrastructure.

“As part of the Renew Group, Forefront, which has a leading industry reputation, will continue to develop its strong, independent brand. The gas mains network replacement programme provides Forefront with long term visibility and excellent growth opportunities.”