June 2014

BGF pipes £3m into drainage contractor to accelerate growth

In June 2014, BGF announced a growth capital investment of £3m in Flowline Limited, a leading drainage contractor in the South East of England.

The £3m investment for a minority stake in Flowline, enabled the business to acquire Clearaway Drainage Services Limited, provide capital to support organic growth, strengthen the senior management team and train staff to deliver new services and operate in new markets. The acquisition of Clearaway adds expertise in the rail and industrial markets.

Flowline was founded in 1991 by Managing Director Barry Robins and since then, the business has grown revenues to over £8m in the year ending July 2014. The company operates from its head office in Rayleigh, Essex with satellite sites near Reigate, Surrey and South Mimms, Hertfordshire. The Company currently employs 85 staff.

Flowline is a commercial drainage contractor providing CCTV pipeline surveying, high pressure water jetting, gully and catchpit cleaning, waste recycling, liquid waste tankering and road sweeping primarily into the water and highways markets. It currently runs a fleet of 60 vehicles serving customers across London, the Home Counties and nationally when required. Customers include infrastructure owners such as Thames Water and Anglian Water. Clearaway was established in 1994 and is based in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire. The acquisition adds expertise and a strong track record in two new markets; rail and industrial, and skills in two additional technically complex service lines in relining and robotic cutting.

In addition, at the introduction of BGF, Alan Horton, the former CEO of Evander Glazing & Locks, joined the Flowline board as Non-Executive Chairman and Investment Director Rory Pope joined the board as BGF’s representative.

Barry Robins, Managing Director and founder of Flowline, said:

“Having built up a profitable and highly regarded business in the sector, I am convinced that now is the time to take advantage of a capital injection and combine it with our experience to grow the business faster and further. The investment will allow us to build our fleet and equipment, make value enhancing acquisitions and recruit additional experience into the business. I look forward to working with BGF as a partner to achieve these goals.”

BGF Investment Director, Rory Pope, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to back a well-established business operating in a robust sector. Flowline has a clear growth strategy based on continuing to win new contracts for its existing services, and expansion into new markets where substantial opportunities exist such as rail and industrial, supported by the strategic acquisition of Clearaway. We are looking forward to partnering with Barry and the management team to drive the business forward and capitalise on the opportunities that exist for them.”