Southern Electric Contracting has sold the London office of Hills Electrical and Mechanical to Lowe & Oliver for an undisclosed sum.

The firm said it bought Hills to improve its national growth rate and exploit opportunities in its retail business. It added that City work was not part of its “core strategy”.

Lowe & Oliver said it would work with SEC to ensure a smooth handover. It now has 64 offices and employs more than 4,000 staff.

Lowe & Oliver, which is part of Lowe Holdings, is a national building services contractor based in Oxford.

SEC bought Hills for £1 after it got into difficulties on Building Schools for the Future projects in Scotland and northern England. It had a turnover of about £70m.