Westway acquired by ABM

Acquisition adds technical services capabilities and expands ABM’s presence in the United Kingdom

Livingstone’s London team has advised the shareholders of Westway Services, a leading provider of technical facility and engineering services to customers across the United Kingdom, on its acquisition by ABM (NYSE:ABM), a $5bn revenue US facility solutions provider, in an all cash deal.

The acquisition adds to ABM’s existing strength in the UK (following the group’s October 2014 purchase of GBM Support Services) and supports its transformation into a solutions-driven business. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Scott Salmirs, President and Chief Executive Officer of ABM, commented, “We continue to see an increased demand for technical engineering services such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and electrical installations,” said. “Westway is a strong fit and will allow ABM to deliver complete solutions, including deep technical services, to our clients in the UK.”

Founded in 2000, Westway is a facility services provider offering technical engineering services such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, electrical installations, building management systems, planned preventative maintenance and reactive maintenance services. The company is based in South Ruislip, West London and has approximately 530 employees.

Andy Donnell, Managing Director of Westway, observed: “ABM is an excellent strategic fit for our combined service capabilities and the partnership further enhances our growth opportunities and the ability to provide our clients with enhanced services and resources. We believe there are strong synergies we can leverage as a combined entity and we are confident that our clients and employees will benefit greatly from this business combination.”

Andy commented: “We have worked with the Livingstone team since 2013 and the sale to ABM is the culmination of a great deal of careful planning and hard graft. Over this period, Livingstone have become trusted advisers in every sense. Their sector knowledge enabled them to identify ABM as an ideal strategic partner, manage a very discreet competitive sale process and deliver an exceptional deal for management and institutional shareholders.”

The sale provides private equity investors Maven and Mobeus with an exit from Westway, having backed the management team in a buy-out in June 2009.

Graham Carberry, Managing Director at Livingstone, added: “The Westway team have created a technical services specialist of exceptional quality through a focus on engineering excellence and delivering total customer peace of mind. ABM understood Westway’s culture immediately and together the two organisations offer a compelling service solution in the UK. It has been a pleasure to work with Andy and the team, and we congratulate them on their achievement.”

The sale of Westway follows a busy period of deal-making for Livingstone’s Business Services sector team with the sale of technical services provider Tessella to Altran, the acquisition of grounds maintenance group The Landscape Group for idverde, and the sale of fire and security specialist First Choice Facilities to Tyco International. Jeremy Furniss, Head of the Business Services team, concluded: “There is significant appetite amongst strategic acquirers globally for well-managed, differentiated UK service providers with long term customer contracts. We anticipate this interest continuing into 2016 as the remaining independent operators with scale succumb to attractive offers and the competition for those businesses intensifies as a result.”