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Browne Jacobson advise Palatine Private Equity backed Construction Testing Solutions on acquisition of geo-consultancy Mason Evans

2 February 2022

Browne Jacobson’s private equity dealmakers have advised Palatine Private Equity backed Construction Testing Solutions Limited (CTS) on its acquisition of Glasgow headquartered geoenvironmental testing consultancy business, Mason Evans Partnership Limited (Mason Evans).

The transaction will support CTS in its ambitions to further enhance its offering by adding specialist environmental, geotechnical and land engineering services into its portfolio and broaden out its client reach to Scotland. This is the latest in a stream of acquisitions for CTS which includes Card Geotechnics (CGL), Nicholls Colton and Silkstone Environmental.

Leicester based CTS which has a national UK reach, specialises in the provision of construction testing, inspection and compliance services. The business works with various sectors within the construction market, including commercial, rail, road, residential, airports, tunnelling, mining, and utilities as well as brownfield regeneration.

Mason Evans formed in 1995 and employs 45 staff across Scotland. They offer a variety of expert solutions to developers, house builders, distillers, local authorities, contractors, consulting engineers and architects.

The deal team which included lawyers from Browne Jacobson’s Manchester and Birmingham offices was led by senior associate, Ryan Brown with assistance from associate, Matthew Dorman and trainee solicitor, Harpinder Nahl. Senior associate Rebecca Burge advised on the corporate tax element of the transaction whilst client relationship partner and PE specialist, Gareth Davies supported the team in the delivery of the transaction.

Phil Coles, Chief Executive Officer of CTS said: “The delivery of our group strategy involves growing our existing brands, leveraging our relationship across our wide scope of capabilities to accelerate organic growth, whilst delivering a strong pipeline of new acquisitions that align with our values and further enhance and broaden the service we offer to our clients. This latest acquisition supports our overall strategy and ambition to become the industry leading provider for all associated services to the construction sector through a robust programme of acquisitions and organic growth.

“I would also like to offer my praise to the Browne Jacobson team who have ensured this transaction has run like clockwork. The team have an excellent profile in the private equity space and are really knowledgeable on the commercial issues that a business like ours can face when acquiring another high-profile business in our sector.”

Mason Evans Managing Director, Niall Lawless who will be continuing to lead the business, along with Patrick Barry and Neil Thomson, added: “This is an exciting step for Mason Evans, and I’m delighted to be continuing as Managing Director supporting the future growth of the combined business and integration process. Since starting in 1995, Mason Evans has been providing high quality geoenvironmental consultancy and now existing clients will also benefit from CTS’s extensive experience and knowledge within the testing, inspection and compliance industry”.

Ryan Brown added: “We have worked with CTS for a number of years who are on a clear path of acquiring and working with the best people and businesses in their sector to enhance their expertise and develop their offering, so we are delighted to have helped deliver this strategic partnering between CTS and Mason Evans. Independently both businesses have a fantastic profile but together will offer a greater capability and stronger portfolio to their existing and target client groups.”

Browne Jacobson’s award winning national corporate finance practice is ranked by Experian as one of the country’s leading corporate finance teams with over 30 corporate and banking & finance expert lawyers delivering complex layered corporate and banking transactions. In 2021, the team were named ‘Corporate Law Firm of the Year’ award at the Midlands Dealmakers Awards and ‘Regional Legal Adviser of the Year’ at the European Private Equity Awards.

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