Birketts advise leading private equity investor on its second acquisition by its East of England Fund


09 February 2021

Birketts has advised private equity firm, Foresight Group LLP (Foresight), on the acquisition of Essex-based Plantexpand Ltd (Plantexpand) for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 1984, Foresight are a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager, investing funds on behalf of clients for over 35 years and responsible for over £6.8 billion of assets under management.

Foresight has made a £5 million investment to support the buy-in management buy-out of Plantexpand, a well-established specialist plant and vehicle maintenance provider servicing the utilities industry, in a deal which is intended to accelerate further growth via new management. The investment is made by the £100 million Foresight East of England Fund which is being invested to support growing SMEs across the East region.

Founded in 1987, Plantexpand provides comprehensive plant and vehicle fleet maintenance and repair services across the South East of England. Dealing mainly with bluechip companies, Plantexpand's bespoke asset management software system offers quality asset management services for business-critical vehicle and equipment servicing. The company has longstanding clients including Thames Water, UK Power Networks, the AA and the National Grid amongst others.

The Birketts team acting for Foresight was led by Adam Jones (Corporate) and included James Stocker (Corporate), Clare Barlow (Employment), Devreaux Gravell (Banking and Finance) and Nahla Faiz (Property).

David Turner, Investment Director at Foresight said: “We are looking forward to working closely with the Plantexpand management team to boost the growth of this highly-respected business.  This is a great investment for our East of England Fund, and Birketts delivered across the board, as we would have expected from a firm with a reputation such as theirs.  Their legal skills and corporate expertise were invaluable in getting a deal completed, but it also comes with an impressive personal touch and forward-looking approach. We would highly recommend the team and look forward to working with them again on future transactions.”

Adam Jones, Partner in Birketts’ Corporate Team said: “Foresight’s focus on the East of England makes our acting for them a perfect fit, particularly as our Private Equity and Banking & Finance practices continue their impressive growth. We demonstrated our abilities to advise on and close out the private equity investment alongside senior bank funding for the deal, which sets up Plantexpand for the future plans of the new management. We are looking forward to going on that journey with them.”

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