Fire prevention market and Neo transaction

We are delighted to have advised the shareholders of Neo Property Solutions on the sale of the business to PTSG.

Neo, based in Leeds and owned and operated by serial-entrepreneurs Diarmaid Kelly and Alistair Hodgson, is one of the UK’s leading passive fire protection safety businesses. PTSG, based in Castleford, is a leading provider of specialist building compliance services employing around 1,400 people across 37 UK sites. It was PTSG’s first acquisition after being backed by global private equity funds Warburg Pincus and Macquarie. The acquisition of Neo complements PTSG’s Fire Safety Solutions division and expands the group’s overall fire capabilities.

Alistair Hodgson, Managing Director of Neo, commented “I thank the Park Place team for their patience, insight, and relentless attention to detail. With their support and help, we achieved an excellent result for the shareholders and the deal pairs Neo with an organisation with whom we look forward to building on past successes and developing a market leading status in the provision of essential fire safety solutions.”

Ben Peacock, Partner at Park Place, said: “We are delighted to have helped Neo find a new owner, and in PTSG one that will assist on its journey towards national leadership. We have worked with Neo over a number of years as the shareholders considered their options in a rapidly growing business with a backdrop of positive regulatory change.”

Passive fire protection – the ability of a building to resist fire through appropriate fire stopping, compartmentation and fire doors – has increased in prominence following recent high-profile events and an increasing awareness of responsibility amongst building owners. Increasing regulation, with the introduction of the Fire Safety Act 2021, will be a further catalyst for market growth.

The passive fire market is still at a relatively early stage in its development with building owners focussing on rectifying legacy issues to ensure buildings are brought up to the required standards. The bulk of work being undertaken is on a project or framework basis with limited recurring revenue at this stage. However, as the market matures, building owners are likely to seek regular maintenance checks to ensure passive fire protection measures have not been compromised by other building works. The market may develop in a similar way to how the asbestos market developed, with recurring income becoming a much prominent feature over time.

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