Services provider also reports two other planned acquisitions and predicts 'strong' second-half performance in social housing

Integrated services provider Connaught has put in a bid of £13.3m to buy Fountains, an environmental services business.

The group wants the acquisition to make it a leader in the environmental services sector, which is worth over £1.5bn annually. Fountains reported a turnover of £21.2m for the six months to 31 March 2009.

Connaught made the announcement in a trading update today, in which it also said it was finalising negotiations on the acquisition of two compliance services businesses.

Mark Tincknell
Tincknell: "confident of delivering on management's expectations for the full year"

The update said the group was maintaining a “strong performance” into the second half of the financial year ending 31 August 2009, with a high level of new contract wins in its compliance and social housing divisions. Its year-to-date order intake stands at £650m.

Connaught said it remains confident of delivering full-year results in line with management expectations in its preliminary results, due to be announced in October.

It said the downturn had aided its performance, particularly within the social housing business, with waiting lists for social housing being at their highest levels.

The business was benefiting from a move among social landlords from traditional multi-contractor models to longer-term multi-service partnerships, driven by an increased need for efficiency among social landlords in the present economic climate.

Group chairman Mark Tincknell said: “I am very pleased with the performance of the group. The acquisition of Fountains in environmental services and the ongoing expansion of the group's compliance services business will significantly enhance our future opportunities. We remain confident of delivering on management's expectations for the full year.”