Confirmed: Servest merger with Atalian Group to create 3bn euro group

Servest's merger with Atalian Group has been confirmed. Pictured is UK and USA chairman Rob Legge. P

Servest's merger with Atalian Group has been confirmed. Pictured is UK and USA chairman Rob Legge. Picture: Gregg Brown.

Suffolk facilities firm Servest's takeover by an international group has been confirmed, in a deal which it says will make it a stronger global player.

Building on its joint venture with Paris-based Atalian Group, the two companies have now merged to form Atalian Servest.

The new organisation has a turnover of 3bn euros, employs more than 125,000 people and operates in 33 countries.

The deal includes £457m for Servest Ltd and £83m for Servest Ltd's 28.8% equity investment in Getronics Services UK, said PwC, which advised on the deal.

The Servest deal will give Atalian a foothold in the UK market, while its stake in Getronics will give it access to a multinational provider of technology services, including hardware, software, telecoms and cloud services.

Servest employs around 300 people at its Bury St Edmunds headquarters, and has a UK workforce of around 23,000 people, providing cleaning, contract catering and technical services.

Speculation began to swirl at the end of April though Servest did not comment at the time.

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Matthieu de Baynast, group chief executive at Atalian said: 'Our two organisations are very complementary with like-minded business approaches based on an entrepreneurial strategy where organic and acquisitive growth are of equal importance.

'The merger of our organisations will enable businesses to have more choice when looking for a global FM partner.'

Rob Legge, Servest's UK and USA chairman, said: 'At a time when the Brexit deal is creating headlines about the UK's exit from Europe, this is a genuine story of UK and European harmony and collaboration.

'Many of our multinational or global clients are looking for a more standardised service delivery across geographies and can now benefit from our approach wherever they are based.

'The merger also demonstrates the strength of and optimism within the facilities management and outsourcing sectors both in the UK and around the world following a turbulent time in the market place.'

PwC's Stephen Hart said it was 'one of the most significant deals in the East Anglian market so far this year.'

'The UK facilities management market is one of the most dynamic in Europe and the acquisition will allow Atalian to achieve critical mass in the UK, while facilitating Servest's continued organic and acquisition growth strategy,' he said.

'The deal also opens the door to a new range of in technology solution with the potential to drive digital transformation and productivity gains across the workplace and facilities management industry.'

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of June.