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Wymondham business BBC Fire Protection bought by Marlowe PLC in £4.1m deal

File photo of two people shaking hands. Photo: Oli Scarff/PA Wire

File photo of two people shaking hands. Photo: Oli Scarff/PA Wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Norfolk company BBC Fire Protection Ltd has been taken over by critical maintenance services provider Marlowe PLC in a £4.1m deal.

The Wymondham-based business, founded in 1979, employs around 100 staff and operates across the country, providing fire protection services to more than 700 customers in the retail, banking, education and social housing sectors.

Key members of BBC’s operational management team will be staying with the business.

Marlowe’s board of directors says the acquisition – taken on a cash and debt free basis – will turn the group into one of the largest providers of fire protection in the UK.

The board also believes it will help to expand Marlowe’s fire division in different regions of the UK and increase its customer base to include large blue-chip organisations, as well as immediately increasing its earnings.

For the year to December 31 2015, BBC reported audited revenues of £9.1m and pre-tax profits of £600,000. Its unaudited net assets on November 30, 2016 were £5.9m.

The total consideration payable is £8.3m, including £4.2 million of net cash held by BBC and a long leasehold property valued at around £500,000. The acquisition will be financed from Marlowe’s existing cash resources.

Chief executive of Marlowe Alex Dacre said: “The acquisition of BBC is a further significant step in our strategy of consolidation of the UK fire protection sector. The business benefits from strong recurring revenues, long-standing customer relationships and will further strengthen our national coverage.”

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