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Social housing contractor's merger 'vote of confidence’ in retrofit market

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Social housing contractor's merger 'vote of confidence’ in retrofit market

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing

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Social housing contractor Lakehouse's merger with Scottish energy services group Everwarm has been called a "vote of confidence" in the retrofit market.

Everwarm has installed carbon-saving measures in more than 45,000 homes and businesses across the UK, often working as a strategic partner to local authorities and housing providers.

Stuart Black, executive chairman of Lakehouse, said: “With so much debate about the direction of policy in the sustainability sector, we see this deal as a vote of confidence in the green economy and the fact that energy efficiency, fuel poverty and zero carbon homes are going to remain central to any government’s agenda.

“Sustainability is a fundamental plank of our business and we’ll be drawing on Everwarm’s impressive delivery record to expand our retrofit division. There are huge opportunities in London and south east England – a domestic market which is remarkably immature in terms of retrofit and energy efficiency.”

The deal marks the fourth business to join the Lakehouse group since 2011.

In the last financial year – only its third year of trading – Everwarm recorded a turnover of £46 million and pre-tax profits of £6m.

The debt-free, all share deal will see Everwarm become an integrated part of the Lakehouse group, though the brand will continue to trade under its current name in Scotland.

Michael McMahon, managing director of Everwarm, said:
“Working in Scotland, we have rapidly built expertise through delivering funding and installation across more than 45,000 properties in just three years.

"We often act as a strategic partner to large landlords and local authorities to help them source funding and deliver on their energy efficiency obligations. Now, we look forward to growing our English operation within the Lakehouse group and bringing a wider asset management offer to clients in Scotland.”

Lakehouse last month announced another year of growth, with turnover rising 24% from £153.7m to £190.6m in 2012/13.

The addition of Everwarm to the group follows three recent acquisitions: K&T Heating Services, a gas servicing, installation and compliance business, in 2011; Allied Protection, a West Sussex-based fire safety and compliance specialist, in 2012; and East-Anglia based Foster Property Maintenance, a contractor and property services company working in the affordable housing and public property sectors, in October 2013.

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