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Palatine-backed CET Infrastructure acquires CGL in strategic bolt-on deal

CET Infrastructure, a provider of specialist geotechnical, environmental and materials testing services to the construction and engineering sector, has continued its buy –and-build growth strategy with the acquisition of Card Geotechnics Limited (CGL).The acquisition of Surrey-based CGL, for an undisclosed sum, is the third bolt-on acquisition since leading mid-market investor Palatine Private Equity took a majority stake in CET Group in November 2018.

CGL, which has more than 65 employees based across a network of seven regional offices, is the largest independent specialist geotechnical and geo-environmental consultancy in the UK and Ireland with clients in residential, commercial and public sectors. 

The acquisition, the company’s largest to date, will take annual revenues at CET Infrastructure to over £30m, and also significantly broadens the breadth and depth of the technical services it offers to customers.

Peter Eglinton, CEO of CET Group, says: We are delighted to welcome the team at CGL to CET and excited about the range of skills and services that we can now offer.  From the first time we met the team at CGL, we knew that we had a very similar focus around developing our staff and delivering for our customers. 

Tom Hustler, Investment Manager at Palatine Private Equity, says: “We’re pleased to support CET with their continued buy and build growth strategy. The business has continued to perform strongly through the uncertainty caused by Covid-19, which is testament to the hard work of the management team.

“The acquisition of a CGL, which has a great reputation in the marketplace, brings additional talent, technical capability and geographical reach to the group and demonstrates our continued appetite to support their growing business. 

“We look forward to 2021 with confidence with further growth and acquisitions in the pipeline.” 

Debt finance for acquisition was provided by the Birmingham office of Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank, led by Ian Howey and Sunil Prabhaker.  Financial Due Diligence was provided by Grant Thornton’s Midlands team, while legal advice was provided by Gareth Davies and Ryan Brown at Browne Jacobson. 

CET Group, which is headquartered in Castle Donington, comprises two divisions, CET Infrastructure and CET Property Assurance, which looks after the Home Emergency policies for one-in-four UK properties on behalf of a number of leading insurers.

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