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Earls Colne-based civil engineering firm CA Blackwell sold to Hargreaves Services for £11.85m

PUBLISHED: 12:23 25 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:23 25 January 2016

David Wisbey of Essex law firm Birkett Long.

David Wisbey of Essex law firm Birkett Long.

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Essex-based earthmoving and civil engineering firm CA Blackwell Group Ltd has been acquired by national operator Hargreaves Services plc in a deal valued at £11.85million.

Blackwell, which will continue to operate under its current nameas the new civil engineering division of Hargreaves, has a 50-year history in the earthmoving and civil engineering arena and also operates a number of mining and quarrying services contracts.

Hargreaves, which is based near Durham, said the integration of Blackwell created “new and exciting opportunities to deploy one of the largest heavy-plant fleets in Europe within a large and well-funded group”.

The shareholders of Blackwell, which is based at Earls Colne, near Colchester, were advised on the sale by Essex law fir, Birkett Long.

David Wisbey, chairman of Birkett Long and a member of the firm’s commercial and corporate finance team, began working on the sale to Hargreaves – a leading UK supplier of solid fuels and bulk material logistics – in July last year.

He said: “Birkett Long has advised Blackwell and its shareholders for many years. We are pleased to be able to assist them with their successful exit from the business and wish the group future success under its new ownership.”

Caroline Kemp, granddaughter of the founder Christopher Arthur Blackwell, said: “Birkett Long has, for many years, been advisers to both the company and the family. T

“They have always provided us with a professional and efficient service. In this instance, they have worked tirelessly to deliver within the timescales set out and David, along with his team, have been a pleasure to deal with.

She added: “The shareholders are extremely proud of all that Blackwell has achieved for more than 50 years. The group has continued to grow and diversify and deliver its expertise in both earthmoving and civil engineering sectors.

“The time was right for the family to dispose of its shares as we had not been directly involved in the company on a full-time basis for many years.

“We feel certain that the sale to Hargreaves is right for the company and all its employees.

“We hope that together they will move the business forward and offer each other many opportunities in the process.”

CA Blackwell was established in 1956 and, besides its headquarters in Coggeshall Road, Earls Colne, has regional offices in the Midlands, the North of England, Wales and Scotland.

Birkett Long is a full service law firm with 22 partners, operating from offices in Chelmsford, Colchester and Basildon.

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