6th November 2023

Specialist monitoring and surveying firms acquired by French group

Dow Schofield Watts’ Yorkshire & North East Corporate Finance team has advised the shareholders of IETG and 40SEVEN on the sale of the businesses to French group SOCOTEC, a leader in remote monitoring and advanced geospatial solutions in Infrastructure, Utilities, Energy, Aviation and Construction.

Specialist monitoring and surveying firms acquired by French group

IETG is a specialist in flow level, temperature, and water quality monitoring. 40SEVEN, its sister company, has industry-leading expertise in land and utility surveying services. The pair of businesses have been acquired by SOCOTEC UK, a market leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) services for the construction and infrastructure sectors.

IETG’s teams are experts in planning, monitoring, and measuring and are uniquely positioned to support water companies and wider stakeholders across the UK in achieving regulatory compliance. Their services, including flow surveys, water quality monitoring and sampling, pollution alarms, level monitoring, temperature and hydrogen sulphide monitoring, are instrumental in ensuring adherence to environmental regulations.

Furthermore, 40SEVEN‘s specialist surveying services, encompassing topographical and measured building surveys, as well as underground utility and gas hazard surveying, align seamlessly with SOCOTEC‘s existing surveying and monitoring capabilities.

These strategic acquisitions, with a combined workforce of 160 professionals and revenues of £13m, significantly enhance SOCOTEC UK’s service portfolio, extend its geographic reach and further bolster SOCOTEC‘s extensive portfolio, providing clients with comprehensive in-house solutions throughout the asset lifecycle. The total turnover of SOCOTEC UK, which is part of the French group SOCOTEC, now stands at £200m. The acquisitions also enhance SOCOTEC UK’s services as a main provider in supporting customers’ compliance and delivery of their obligations under the Environment Act 2021.

Commenting on the acquisitions, Nicolas Detchepare, CEO of SOCOTEC UK, said: “The acquisitions of IETG and 40SEVEN reinforce and diversify our existing environmental division. With the addition of remote monitoring capabilities, we are now the leading provider in the UK, supporting our clients in complying with the rigorous legislation established by the Environmental Act. This acquisition solidifies SOCOTEC’s position as a leader in remote monitoring and advanced geospatial solutions within Infrastructure, Utilities, Environment, and Construction. The acquisition supports our ambition to become the leading integrated player in the UK, helping businesses mitigate environmental impacts and build a more resilient, sustainable future”.

Ian Edwards, managing director of IETG and 40SEVEN, said: “We can see fantastic opportunities ahead for IETG and 40Seven, and after seven years of investment support from Bentley O-S, at this crucial time, we needed strategic investment and size, matched by a similar culture and drive to achieve our goals and continued growth strategy. SOCOTEC provides the ideal platform and seamless transition whilst bringing a strategic mindset, strong covenant, credibility, financial strength, and support and providing future opportunities for our staff to thrive and develop. We are excited and looking forward to the next stage of our journey within the SOCOTEC Group”.

Herve Montjotin, CEO of SOCOTEC Group, continued: “There is a perfect operational and cultural fit between IETG / 40SEVEN and SOCOTEC UK. With this seasoned and cohesive team joining SOCOTEC, we will enlarge our service offering, especially in the environmental field and confirm our leadership in the UK”.

The shareholders of IETG and 40SEVEN, both headquartered in Swillington, near Leeds, were advised by the Yorkshire & North East Corporate finance team, which comprised Paul Herriott, Roger Esler and Matt Spence, with legal advice being provided by Gordons and taxation advice from Tax Advisory Partnership.

Paul Herriott, Corporate Finance Partner at Dow Schofield Watts, said, “Having advised on the original buy-out of IETG and 40SEVEN from NYSE-listed IDEX in 2016, we were delighted to have advised the team once again on this cross-border strategic deal with SOCOTEC. The acquisitions represent a great enhancement to SOCOTEC’s service offering across the UK, and we wish the teams at IETG and 40SEVEN the very best as part of this substantial, international group”.