Renew said that the acquisition of J Browne would add ‘material scale’ to its water business.
J Browne, based in Enfield, North London, is a utilities contractor that works across the south of England.
It is on framework agreements of several water companies, including Thames and Southern, and also provides utility connections and infrastructure services to the developer market in London and the southeast.
The company was founded in 1971 by Sean Brown with a focus on cabling and trenching. It shifted its focus more to the water sector in the 2010s with the next generation of ownership under Jeremy Browne.
In the year ended 31st March 2020, J Browne reported profit before tax of £5.5m on turnover of £79.2m. In its current financial year to 31st March 2021, it has seen a reduction in activity due to the transition from the AMP6 to AMP7 regulatory period for the water companies and is expected to report turnover of £63.3m.
Renew chief executive Paul Scott said: “This acquisition broadens Renew’s exposure to the UK water market and is consistent with our strategic objectives. This market offers attractive long-term growth opportunities underpinned by committed regulatory spend and is a sector we understand well from our established relationships in other water regions. We have known Jeremy and his team for many years and have tracked how they have successfully grown a business with an excellent reputation for directly delivering reliable engineering services to a number of water companies across the south of England, including Thames Water, the largest in the UK. This is a business that shares the values of Renew and I am delighted to welcome the management and staff of J Browne to the Renew family.”
Jeremy Browne, chairman of J Browne, said: “Under Renew’s ownership, J Browne enters an exciting new stage for the business. It was critical for us to have an owner who shares the values that have contributed to our success and one which has demonstrated the necessary expertise to support our growth ambitions. The Renew business model and strategy fits perfectly with these aspirations and I believe the J Browne brand will continue to flourish alongside the many other highly respected Renew subsidiary businesses.”