Eddisons gains new asset with valuation specialist

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A YORKSHIRE firm which has links with a landmark building in Abu Dhabi is poised to win new clients after securing a key acquisition.

Leeds-based chartered surveying company Eddisons has bought Philip Davies & Sons, one of the UK’s largest independent firms of plant, machinery and business asset valuers, for an undisclosed sum.

All staff from the London, Manchester and Nottingham offices 
of the business will join Eddisons; a move that will increase the staff numbers in Eddisons’ machinery and business assets department from 14 to 27.

The acquisition means Eddisons now has an auction centre in the Manchester area, which can service the North West and the Midlands.

Nigel McDonald, managing director of Eddisons, said yesterday: “This acquisition increases our geographical footprint and means we can now provide banks and insolvency practitioners with valuations and sales of assets, stock and properties on a truly national basis.

“It is also good news for clients of Philip Davies & Sons who will benefit from our significant range of specialist property services and exposure to an enhanced auction capability.”

Peter Davies, the managing director of Philip Davies & Sons, said: “I am really excited at the prospect of joining our two businesses together to provide a complete service to our combined client base. I look forward to working with the staff of both companies to make a real success of this acquisition.”

Mr McDonald said that the company had no plans for further acquisitions.

Philip Davies & Sons, which was founded 40 years ago, provides inventories and valuations to administrators, receivers and liquidators. It has auction and storage facilities totalling 30,000 sq ft.

Eddisons was advised on the transaction by the Leeds offices of Lupton Fawcett and BDO. Funding was provided by Barclays Bank. Leeds-based Eddisons has doubled its turnover in the last three years to £12.7m and expects to add another £2m to the business in 2012.

Eddisons, which employs 200 staff, has eight regional offices including Bradford, Huddersfield, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Glasgow.

Earlier this year, Eddisons revealed it was opening two offices in Ireland, as well as launching a new licensed leisure and hotels division and expanding its ratings department.

Eddisons can trace its roots back to 1844, when one of its founding firms, David Waterhouse & Nephew was established in Bradford.

The Eddisons name first appeared in 1852, when Eddisons, Taylor & Booth was founded in Huddersfield.

In 1967 the two firms merged to form Eddisons, Waterhouse & Co. Following a further merger with residential specialists CH Lord & Partners, the Eddisons name was adopted in 1972.

In 1987 Eddisons was acquired by the Leeds Permanent Building Society as part of its strategy to provide property advice to its members.

When Leeds Permanent was taken over by the Halifax Building Society in 1997 the new owners decided the commercial division was “non core” to its business.

As a result, the directors conducted a management buyout to set up Eddisons Commercial.

The firm provides a multi-disciplinary service to banks, insolvency practitioners and owners and occupiers of commercial property. 

Apart from its UK activities, the facilities and management department is active throughout Europe and the Middle East running the properties of blue chip client and investors, including Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this year, the company launched a new licensed leisure and hotels division, which it hopes will add £2m to its turnover in the next three years.

Mr McDonald told the Yorkshire Post on January: “There aren’t a lot of surveyors who do licensed leisure and hotels so it is not over-serviced.”

Eddisons has also expanded its ratings department nationally.

It previously employed three people in Leeds and one in London.

Earlier this year, it appointed John Hayward, formerly of business rates specialist CVS, as its head of national rating.

It hopes the division will have a turnover of £1m in two years.

Mr McDonald said in January: “We have plodded away at it and it has had a decent turnover of £350,000 and it turns a decent profit but it’s never been anything beyond that.

“We now want to push it nationally. There will always be ratings work around because it works in a five-year cycle.”