Drainage contractor Flowline closes £3m BGF deal to support acquisition plans

South East drainage firm set to acquire competitor Clearaway Drainage Services

South East of England drainage contractor Flowline Ltd has scooped £3m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) in return for a minority equity stake.

Founded in 1991, Essex-based Flowline offers commercial drainage services including CCTV pipeline surveying, high pressure water jetting and waste recycling with a fleet of 60 vehicles serving customers across London and the Home Counties.

Since its launch, the company has grown to 85 staff and has achieved revenues of over £8m for the year ending July 2014.

It intends to use the deal, which sees BGF’s Alan Horton and investment director Rory Pope join its board, to support its acquisition of Hertfordshire competitor Clearaway Drainage Services Ltd which will enable it to expand into new markets and enhance its service lines in relining and robotic cutting.

Flowline managing director and founder, Barry Robins, 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.”

Pope, BGF investment director and new Flowline board member, added:

“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.”

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