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SG snaps up Fondedile in bid to crack the South East

CONTRACTOR SYSTEMS Geotechnique (SG) bought minipiling and slope stabilisation contractor Fondedile Foundations on 4 November in a bid to break into London and the south east.

The Merseyside contractor bought the shares from Sir Robert McAlpine for an undisclosed sum. SG managing director Bob Thompson told GE that Fondedile's strong presence in the south east was a 'key driver' to the acquisition.

'They are very strong in London and the south east in particular, while we are stronger in the north and the Midlands. Geographically, it's a good fit, ' he said.

'We have more powerful piling rigs in the 300-600mm diameter range, whereas they specialise in 300mm or less. So we will be able to offer clients a full range of geotechnical services.' Thompson added that the acquisition boosted staff levels at SG by about 35% to around 90 people and drilling rigs by 50%. The contractor's plant fleet is now more than 30 machines. 'It has boosted our capacity to do more big projects at the same time, ' he said.

Fondedile's particular expertise for restricted access piling, such as basements with low headroom, was another driver to the deal. Thompson claimed the deal would make SG the 'market leader' in restricted access piling.

Sir Robert McAlpine owned half the shares in Fondedile Foundations and bought all the remaining shares in the company late last year (GE February).

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