Reading: Spectrum advises on disposal of Clearwater Group

Spectrum Corporate Finance has advised the shareholders on the successful disposal of Clearwater Group plc to Baird Capital.

Spectrum acted as both lead adviser and debt adviser to management and Baird Capital.  In total, £34 million of funding was raised to support the transaction and provide facilities for planned future acquisition opportunities.

Baird Capital has acquired a majority interest in Clearwater Group, a leading provider of water treatment, hygiene, engineering and pump services to a blue-chip customer base across the UK. RBS provided a debt package to support the transaction, and the on-going growth and acquisition strategy of the business.

Clearwater Group is headquartered in Camberley, Surrey and was founded in 1990 by CEO Guy Rowley.  The business provides water solutions and services to estate owners and facilities managers across a variety of sectors, including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, industrial and the public sector. It has had consistent top-line growth throughout that period.

The deal will provide the capital required to accelerate the continuing growth of the business, and provides an exit for outgoing chairman Steve Newton, the other founder.

As part of the transaction, Baird Capital managing director James Benfield will join the Clearwater board of directors.

Spectrum managing director Simon Davies commented: “This is a great example of our approach to long-term relationships. We have worked with Steve Newton and Guy Rowley over a five-year period to help prepare and position the business for sale to private equity. It is a great business, and a strong platform for further growth, both organic and by acquisition. We wish Guy and Baird Capital well moving forward.”

Ian Milne, Spectrum managing director, commented: “It has been a pleasure working with Guy, the management team and Baird Capital in raising the funding necessary to make the deal happen and set the business on course for its next exciting period of development.  The RBS debt team was highly commercial and supportive throughout, quickly recognising Clearwater’s strong market position and the credentials of its management, enabling the delivery of a highly-competitive and flexible package of debt facilities.”

Andrew Clayton, managing director, financial sponsors south & Midlands, RBS, commented: “We worked closely with Ian and his team from the very early stages of this transaction. With a genuine understanding of leveraged finance, Ian provided both pragmatic and commercially astute input in to the debt financing process, working with us towards a shared ambition of bringing the transaction to a successful conclusion.”