Expansion for utilities specialist

Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong

First published in Business News

UTILITIES infrastructure company Fastflow Group has broadened its expertise with the acquisition of a £25m turn over business.

The water and gas pipeline specialist, which has its headquarters in Washington, Tyne and Wear added the Oxford based property maintenance business DW Contractors to its operation for an undisclosed sum.

All the staff will transfer to Fastflow which plans to put in place an investment and development strategy which will create more jobs and opportunities.

Fastflow CEO and owner, Neil Armstrong, said of the deal: “This provides us with an excellent opportunity to diversify and grow our business. While the work undertaken by Fastflow in the utility sector is quite different, the two organisations are founded on very similar principles and employ similar working practices, making this deal a great fit.

“Both are customer focused and aware of the need to provide outstanding service. Both have to be able to respond to emergencies and operate around the clock. Both are aware that it is attention to details which makes the difference and both use modern communications technology to support the drive for excellence.

It is my belief that both organisations will learn from each other to become even stronger players in their sectors.”

David Exley, who founded DW Contractors in 1986, said: “It has been a tough decision to make but I think it is the right time for me to move on and I know I am leaving the business and the team in excellent hands.

“I will remain involved for the next few months to assist with the transition and then I plan to spend more time with my family and enjoy riding the collection of motorbikes I have built up over the years.”

The Fastflow Group was created when Neil Armstrong acquired the business from Northumbrian Water in 2005. Its pipeline services division works for Northumbrian Water, Scottish Water and Anglian Water. Every day good water management is achieved through the use of trenchless technology, a fully computerised work management system and an award winning trunk mains cleaning process.

Fastflow Energy Services is based in Warrington and provides a wide range of pipeline and above ground installation projects – mainly to National Grid - operating at up to 100 bar, using innovative, end to end solutions, welded steel pipelines and associated plant.

The enhanced group will employ over 600 people and is forecast to turn over £60m in this financial year.

The deal was brokered by Charlie Barker and Paul Trickett of from the corporate finance team at Deloitte in the North East, with legal support from Paul Ellaby of Ward Hadaway. Jamie Fraser of Lloyds Banking Group arranged

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