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MBO of Bedfordshire-based specialist escape of water detection business

6 September 2022

MBO of Bedfordshire-based specialist escape of water detection business

SOS Leak Detection, a provider of non-destructive escape of water detection and remedial services working primarily with the insurance sector, has funded its primary buyout by securing an equity investment from YFM.

The buyout was led by Jamie Nash, managing director, who has extensive experience of the sector, having worked in the industry for over 30 years. Jamie will be supported by incoming chair Stuart Black, and founders Nik Day and Brad Wilby, who will remain significant investors in the business and will continue to provide strategic and business development support.

Established in 2011, SOS Leak Detection is headquartered in Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire, and has grown to a team of 35 including 25 specialist engineers. With significant experience in technology-led non destructive escape of water detection and associated remedial services, it mainly serves customers in the insurance sector including insurers, loss adjusters and property managers, working across the UK. Its award-winning service within domestic and commercial settings has resulted in SOS Leak Detection resolving more than 15,000 escape of water instances over the last three years. This approach has led to an excellent track record of customer satisfaction via minimal on-site disruption and damage, ultimately improving the customer journey and reducing overall reinstatement costs for the insurer.

Jamie Nash, managing director of SOS Leak Detection, commented: “After more than 30 years working in the space, I joined SOS Leak Detection earlier this year as I could see that, with the right backing, SOS has huge potential for growth. The company has established a proven name with insurers and is building a brand with homeowners as the best-in-class contractor for dealing with hidden escape of water claims. SOS can do the full find and fix service in a cost-effective manner whilst providing minimal disruption. We already have an impressive customer base, boosted by several recent wins, which puts SOS in a great place.

“I am excited to be leading the business, supported by an extremely experienced board, and continuing to offer high levels of customer care, invest in our people via best-in-class training and development, and maintaining the best possible standards of ethical, environmental and business practice. With YFM on board, we are looking forward to being able to expand our offering of specialist services to our growing customer base.”

Brad Wilby, founder, added: “We are really proud of SOS’s journey so far, but this is about taking the company to the next level and YFM has a vast experience of scaling similar businesses. YFM has also spent considerable time really getting to know us and our business, so we are pleased to welcome them on-board not only as an investor, but also as a partner who really believes in us and the future goals of SOS.”

YFM has a strong track record of supporting businesses in the technical services space, having backed the MBOs of Checkmate, a passive fire protection specialist; RGE Services, a fire and electrical compliance services provider; and loss adjusting and claims management specialist GHG, in recent years.

David Wrench, YFM investment partner, comments: “SOS Leak Detection has carved out a great position in the repair and restoration space, combining technology, exceptional training and industry-leading customer service levels to resolve escape of water issues efficiently, reducing waste and costs to insurers and property managers. As one of the only truly national providers, and with an extremely experienced managing director at the helm, it is well placed to build on the strong foundations that Nik and Brad have established.”

YFM Equity Partners has been investing in growing businesses in the UK since 1982, with a focus on helping them to scale.

The YFM team comprised David Wrench, Ben Pitt and Jamie Roberts. Advisers to the management team and YFM included James Cowper Kreston (Stuart Williams and Jack Griggs, buyside advice); Shoosmiths (Sanjeev Sharma and Aleks Bosch, legal work); PMSI (Gareth Elliott and Will Durbin, commercial due diligence); Crowe (Bob Alsop, financial due diligence); GT (Usman Malik and Richard Joyce, exit and IT due diligence); and Catalysis (Mike Hicks, organisational and people due diligence). The vendors were supported by Transworld Business Advisors UK: Mergers and Acquisitions (sell-side adviser); with legal advice provided by Ashtons.

Picture shows: David Wrench (YFM) Andrew Cruickshank (National Field Manager), Joanna Childs (Business Operations Manager), Jamie Nash (MD), Nik Day (Vendor), Ben Pitt (YFM) and Brad Wilby (Vendor).

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