Transcend Corporate, the Thames Valley, Birmingham and Hong Kong based corporate finance adviser, is pleased to announce the sale of Butler and Young Group to SOCOTEC Group of France. A Transcend Corporate team, led by partner Steve Bartlett, Mathew Imison and assisted by colleague Joe Chiles, acted as lead advisers to the shareholders of Butler and Young.

Butler and Young Group encompasses Butler & Young Approved Inspectors, one of the largest approved inspectors in England and Wales by number of projects, Trenton Fire one of the largest independent fire safety consultancies in the UK and Butler & Young Consultants a leading specialist in built environment consultancy.

With a turnover of £10 million, the Butler & Young Group has 15 offices throughout the UK employing 175 people, and has been involved in the technical inspection of more than 80,000 construction projects since it was established in 1997.

SOCOTEC Group is France’s leader in building control and a major player in testing, inspection and certification (“TIC”) for the construction and infrastructure sectors, with revenue of €700 million and 200,000 clients.  In the UK, SOCOTEC (formerly ESG) is the leading provider of TIC services, offering comprehensive solutions for the infrastructure and waste; and environment and safety sectors.

Paul Wilkins, Butler & Young Group CEO, said: “This is an exciting new chapter in the story of the Butler & Young Group, one that will enable appropriate investment to support growth, develop infrastructure and provide significant opportunities for staff development.”

Ian Sparks, CEO, SOCOTEC UK, said: “We are very pleased to enter the world of building control and fire consultancy services with the acquisition of the Butler & Young Group, the market leader in the UK.  The acquisition of Butler & Young will become the platform for SOCOTEC’s future development in building control and fire consultancy in the UK and further strengthens our position by providing key technical expertise in the construction sector.”

Hervé Montjotin, SOCOTEC Group CEO added: “This acquisition is completely in phase with our aim to become European leader in TIC by 2020 in the construction and infrastructure sectors. It will reinforce our SOCOTEC UK subsidiary by adding expertise in building control and fire consultancy. With Butler & Young Group, which truly fits into the SOCOTEC Group, our UK platform now has a local flagship in building control and fire consultancy that will enable it to take a position as a fully-fledged TIC1 player in construction and infrastructure.”

Of Transcend, Butler and Young CEO Paul Wilkins said: “On behalf of all of the shareholders I would like to recognise the great result delivered by the team at Transcend.  They identified and introduced a strategic buyer for the business and delivered a deal that exceeded our expectations.  We would have no hesitation in recommending them or working with them again in the future.”

Steve Bartlett, Partner at Transcend added: “We are delighted to have delivered an outstanding result for the shareholders of Butler and Young.  As an M&A adviser it is always an ambition to identify a truly strategic buyer, but that is certainly what we achieved here.  The fit between the businesses is very strong, with Butler and Young forming the foundation of SOCOTEC’s continued UK growth. We are delighted to have helped Paul, Terry and Nick.”

Legal advice to the shareholders was provided by Amanda Allen of gunnercooke.