Jobs saved as construction consultancy is bought by private investor

September 28, 2011

More than 70 jobs at Bristol-based civil and structural consultants Clarke Bond Group have been saved following its acquisition out of administration by a private investor.

Thomas Anderson bought the business for an undisclosed amount through Inspiration Holdings from joint administrators, director Mark Roach and partner Graham Randall in accountants BDO’s restructuring team.

They were called in nearly two weeks ago when the firm, which had been struggling for some time due to the construction industry slump, hit crisis point .

They closed half its eight sites and made 45 staff redundant but retained the Bristol headquarters, offices in Exeter and London and its base in Abu Dhabi. Some 72 jobs were saved in the UK and a further 26 in the Middle East.

Inspiration Holdings executive director Justin Ribbons said: “We saw the potential in the team at Clarke Bond and are excited by the opportunity to work with them to fulfil the company’s potential."

He said the emphasis now was on expanding the business.

The day-to-day running of the business will be overseen by Andrew Whitehead, who joins as operations director.

He said: “Clarke Bond is a company with huge potential for continued success and future growth, which I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be part of.”

BDO’s Mark Roach added: “The group is very well known and has a great reputation in this sector but has found trading tough due to difficult conditions in the construction sector. While we were unable to save the business in Wales, the Midlands and the North of England, it’s positive news that – with the assistance of the purchaser – we were able to sell part of the business and secure 98 jobs in the UK and Middle East.”

The firm was established in 1946 and provides multi-disciplinary engineering and management consultancy services.

Recent projects have included Hengrove Park in South Bristol, Bradley Stoke Community School, the DEFRA building at Temple Quay and the Finzels Reach development on Bristol’s former Courage Brewery site along with schemes across the UK and Middle East.

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