21/06/2012

The UTS Group has expansion in the pipeline following FW Capital’s £700,000 investment

A leading Jarrow-based pipeline repair company is set for significant growth with the help of a £700,000 investment by FW Capital, the company which manages the North East Growth Plus Fund.

The UTS Group (UTS) will now build on some recent major contract wins with UK water companies and further expansion is also planned in the gas transportation sector.

UTS repairs pipelines without interrupting supply, improving customer service and saving costs for heavily-regulated utilities companies which can be subject to stringent penalties. The company also manufactures bespoke pipes to suit particular repairs.

Speaking about UTS’s growth opportunities, Managing Director and founder, Shaun Sadler said: “The utilities companies we work for have strict conservation targets, so there’s a great deal of focus on investment in infrastructure at the moment. These companies are also investing record amounts to meet their targets.

“Every repair we do is different, so we provide a tailored service. We can also undertake repairs without all the inconvenience and cost associated with cutting supply. This is particularly important at the moment with more than 20 million people in the UK currently affected by drought conditions,” continued Sadler.

In business for over twenty years, UTS is market leader. It has a solid reputation for providing a high quality end-to-end service and rapid response times. With three of the UK’s twenty-one water companies on its client list - Thames Water, Veolia and Welsh Water - UTS is already eyeing up the others.

“We operate globally and our services are well-suited to a range of industries because we have a reputation for innovation. While we’re intending to expand in the water industry, our next big growth opportunity is in the gas transportation industry. FW Capital’s investment will help us keep our market leading position,” continued Sadler

Joanne Pratt, FW Capital’s senior investment executive in the North East led the UTS deal.

“UTS is an established business with all the right ingredients to make the most of our investment. It is ambitious for growth, forward-thinking and innovative. It already has an impressive client list and a strong brand to build on. Investment in infrastructure is big business at the moment and there are plenty of new global opportunities to go after,” Pratt explained.

“It’s great to see UTS’s management team thinking long-term not only about the company’s future, but also how to finance their plans. I’ve been pleased to work with them to make sure our investment complements what’s already in place and gives them what they need to focus on building the business,” continued Pratt.

FW Capital’s investment comes on top of previous finance provided by UTS’s bankers, HSBC.

David Sinden, Senior International Commercial Manager at HSBC commented on the bank’s relationship with UTS: “A company such as UTS is an example of the commitment of HSBC in supporting local SMEs achieves their growth ambitions, both domestically and internationally. HSBC are delighted to have provided appropriately structured funding in conjunction with FW Capital and look forward to connecting UTS with further opportunities to assist Shaun and his team in fulfilling their ambitions for the company.”

Pratt was pleased to have worked with Sinden on the investment, commenting on the quality of the relationship between FW Capital and the bank: “We’re keen to work alongside more banks and their clients on deals like this one for UTS. It’s important to look at the total funding package a business needs if it’s to stand the best chance of success. That’s where FW Capital can help - the North East Growth Plus Fund’s investment criteria gives us a lot of flexibility to do this.”

Thames Water recently reported reducing water leakage by a third since 2004, its lowest level ever, after replacing 1,400 miles of mains.

Haines Watts and Sintons advised UTS on the deal. Ward Hadaway and Tait Walker advised FW Capital.

North East Growth Plus Fund