THE North East’s largest independent contract cleaning and facilities management firm has acquired a local competitor as it looks to consolidate and grow its presence on home turf.

Maxim Facilities Management has bought Total Facilities Management (NE) Ltd, which specialises in providing daily contract cleaning services for a range of commercial clients in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham, for an undisclosed six-figure sum.

Total FM’s founder Richard Fowler has joined Maxim FM’s senior team as part of the transaction, while all the members of his 150-strong team has been added to the Maxim workforce to take it past 1,500.

And Maxim’s management team remains open to making further similar acquisitions if the right opportunities arise.

Maxim FM provides commercial contract cleaning and facilities management services to public and private sector clients, and works with a growing number of well-known firms and organisations including Hitachi, Quorn, Nexterra Systems Corp, Gentoo and the Scottish Prison Service.

It operates in every part of the UK, aside from London and the South East, and has branch offices in Leeds, Swindon and Glasgow.

While the pandemic is expected to impact on its turnover this year, the Sunderland-headquartered firm is working towards its long-term goal of becoming a £20m turnover company with around 2,000 employees, and recently won a £1.5m contract with a West Midlands academy chain.

Prior to its latest acquisition, Maxim had already increased its team by around 50 in the last year, with roughly half the overall workforce based in the North East.

Graham Conway, founder and managing director at Maxim FM, said: "We are already firmly established as the North East’s largest independent cleaning and facilities management firm, and bringing Total FM’s workforce and client base on board further strengthens this position.

“The business already has an impressive presence across the North East, as well as a strong team of people delivering the services their clients require, and we’re very pleased to be bringing Richard onboard to help us to build on what he and we have already achieved within the region.

“There’s no denying that this has been a very challenging year for ourselves and many of our clients, but the importance of cleaning and hygiene has clearly never been more important and we’ve been able to keep the business moving forward as a result.

“We have a strong presence in the education sector and have carried out innumerable additional school and college deep cleans this year, a trend we expect to continue for at least the next few months.

“We have ambitions to keep growing organically as economic conditions begin to settle next year and beyond, and are very much open to making further acquisitions as and when the right opportunities come up.”

Total FM founder Richard Fowler adds: “Maxim has the resources and capacity to meet businesses’ contract cleaning needs in the present challenging circumstances and it makes clear sense for me, my staff and our clients to complete this deal.

“It was especially important to me that all the members of my team would be properly looked after as part of the sale of the business and Maxim made the firm commitment on this that I was looking for.

“There’s no better company in our sector in the north and it’s exciting for me to be joining a business that has clear ambitions to keep growing.”