George Barnes, KBS Associate Corporate Director, has overseen the sale of Clarke Banks (Group) Ltd to an approved building control inspector.

George Barnes, KBS Associate Corporate Director, has overseen the sale of Clarke Banks (Group) Ltd to an approved building control inspector.

Clarke Banks offers a variety of compliance solutions to the domestic and commercial construction markets, including building control approval and fire safety engineering.

The company benefits from a national network and operates from UK offices, including London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Weybridge.

Led by directors Adam Melrose and Sam Wright, Clarke Banks has established a young and dynamic management team, appealing to an increasing number of blue-chip clients.

As the building control and fire safety industries continue to evolve with new legislation, Adam and Sam were eager to explore the M&A market and find the right buyer for the next phase of development.

“Clarke Banks has some of the youngest approved inspectors in the country and the business is well-established at the forefront of a growing industry,” said George Barnes.

“The Building Safety Act 2022 is going to change operational strategies across the market, and Clarke Banks has the services, clients and scope to satisfy new requirements — particularly for large-scale commercial developments.”

Assent Building Control is the successful buyer – a business that was acquired itself by Alpina Partners in 2017 with the assistance of KBS Corporate.

Under Munich-based Alpina Partners, Assent has grown into one of the UK’s leading building control bodies.

The Yorkshire-based firm has acquired Clarke Banks as part of a long-term plan to enhance its building control and fire services portfolio.

Iain Thomson, CEO of Assent, commented on the acquisition: “We have been actively looking to expand our suite of services, so it was important to us that the business we acquired would offer benefits to both parties, not simply grow the number of surveyors we could offer.

“Sam and Adam have built an incredibly successful business that provides complementary services to those offered by our existing businesses. The enthusiasm for the work that they do is second to none and we are delighted to be welcoming them into the Assent group.”

Adam Melrose said: “We had been investigating several investment partner options, but it became clear to us that Assent aligned with our own values and bought into our future vision for the business.

“In the discussions with Iain and his team, it was obvious that the acquisition of Clarke Banks was a strategic choice that would benefit both parties and help deliver a combined service offering to clients, at what is a pivotal time in our industry.”

Sam Wright added: “The introduction of the independent Building Safety Regulator is making our whole industry look very closely at what will be required to achieve the competency levels needed.

“The recent consolidation we have seen in the sector is ultimately positive for the industry as a whole. Being part of a larger group and network will provide additional strength in the future for Clarke Banks’ team and greater resilience to support the diverse and strong client base that we have spent the last decade building.”

George Barnes believes that further consolidation in the building control and fire safety industries is to be expected over the coming years as regulators continue to realign existing legislation.

“While Clarke Banks is a great opportunity for Assent to improve its commercial exposure, it also improves the group’s position in a market with high barriers to entry,” said George.

“We’re expecting significant consolidation as legislation evolves — regulators will see the benefit of working with a smaller pool of prominent inspectors.”


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