Ipswich-based Aaron Heating Services to be acquired by Lakehouse

The signing of the deal by Lakehouse to acquire Aaron Heating Services. Front row, Stuart Black, lef

The signing of the deal by Lakehouse to acquire Aaron Heating Services. Front row, Stuart Black, left, executive chairman of Lakehouse and Allan Wright, founder of Aaron; back row, from left, David Lummis, managing director, Aaron, Sean Birrane, chief executive, Lakehouse, and Jon Posey, commercial director, Aaron. - Credit: Archant

East of England-based Aaron Heating Services is to be acquired by asset and energy support services group Lakehouse in a deal valued at up to £10million.

Lakehouse, which is based in Romford, will pay an initial £6.7m in cash for Aaron, which specialises in heating servicing and installations for housing associations and local authorities, with a further sum of up to £3.3m payable subject to financial performance over the next two years.

Aaron, which has around 390 employees, is based at the Broomvale Business Centre in Bramford Road, Ipswich, and also has offices in Boston, Corby, Dereham, Lincoln and Southend.

It is currently owned by Dawn and Allan Wright, who founded the business in 1985, together with members of their immediate family, the current managing director, David Lummis, and commercial director, Jon Posey. Mr Lummis, Mr Posey and the rest of the current management team will all remain with the business, with the acquisition taking Lakehouse’s total workforce to more than 2,300.

Mr Lummis said: “We’re thrilled to be joining Lakehouse, which will allow us to build on a successful period of strong and consistent growth.

“Combining our specialist skills with the group’s experience and client base means we are in the best position to bolster our presence in the compliance market, strengthening our existing relationships and extending our high levels of customer service across a widened geographical reach.”

Lakehouse said that Aaron would complement its existing gas compliance businesses, K&T Heating which operates in London and the South East and Sure Maintenance, another recent acquisition, which operates in the North of England and the Midlands.

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Besides extending the group’s geographic coverage in the gas servicing and maintenance market, Aaron also offered a platform to sell a wider range of the group’s compliance services, along with the complementary offering of its Regeneration East business which covers a similar geographic footprint, it added.

Stuart Black, executive chairman of Lakehouse, said: “Aaron’s specialist skills, client base and business infrastructure give us a platform to capitalise on the growth opportunities from within the UK compliance services industry.

“Supporting the existing services of our compliance division, the acquisition will extend the geographical footprint of the group’s gas business and enhance Lakehouse’s already solid platform throughout East Anglia and the Midlands for all its services and creates further opportunities for cross-selling.”

In the year to March 31, 2015, Aaron reported turnover of ?£26.3m and a profit before tax of ?£900,000, with gross assets at the year-end of £10.5m. Allowing for the cost of integration, Lakehouse said that it expected the acquisition of Aaron to be earnings enhancing in the first full year.