Van Elle said that ScrewFast was an attractive acquisition because customers are increasingly seeking faster, modular forms of construction like ScrewFast offers.

ScrewFast’s helical piling and integrated foundation system adds to Van Elle’s own breadth of capabilities – “capturing more of the value chain through providing modular forms of construction and enabling cross-selling opportunities”, the buyer said.

Van Elle will pay John Cassidy and Dan Dye, the vendors, an initial £1.76m, with up to a further £1.92m payable in August 2023 depending on performance.

Formed in 2000, ScrewFast has developed a track record within the infrastructure and general civil engineering markets. In 2019 it acquired Q&E Fabrications to provide a full service offering of design, fabrication and installation.

ScrewFast has provided foundations for temporary venues at the London 2012 Olympics, foundations work on Crossrail, the Leeds Flood Defence system and numerous highways and smart motorway projects.

For the year to 30th May 2020, ScrewFast recorded revenues of £5.9m and a profit before tax of £360,000. Net assets at 31st March 2021 were £1.85m and the order book stood at £5.1m.

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All ScrewFast employees, including the management team led by managing director Dan Dye, are joining Van Elle.

ScrewFast has patented designs for screwing steel helical piles into the ground without the requirement for heavy hammers or drills.  

Van Elle plans to retain the ScrewFast brand and position it within its Specialist Piling division. 

Van Elle chief executive Mark Cutler said: “This is a very exciting, complementary acquisition focussed on our higher margin, specialist piling activities which strengthens our leading position in growth markets such as highways and rail.  ScrewFast has an established client base and proven track record of highly specialist services and will support the group in the delivery of its medium-term strategic objectives. The two businesses have a similar culture and ethos which is very important to us, and we look forward to working with the ScrewFast team as we welcome them into the group.”

ScrewFast managing director Dan Dye added: “We have long identified Van Elle as the ideal owner to support our growth potential.  ScrewFast is an innovative and specialist business that fits well both culturally and technically into the diverse range of end-to-end services and market prospects offered by Van Elle, who we have worked alongside on several recent projects.  My whole team is very excited by the opportunities ahead.”

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