£25 million group created after Robinsons M&E sold to First Response Group


Garbutt + Elliott partners Tony Farmer (far left) and Richard Feltham (far right) advised on the £25m facilities management group deal

Harrogate based mechanical and electrical engineering company Robinsons M&E has been successfully sold to national facilities management business First Response Group, in a significant deal for the industry which
creates a £25 million turnover group.

Robinsons M&E was established in 1963 and has become one of Yorkshire’s leading commercial boiler, air conditioning and electrical installation specialists, with an impressive portfolio of ‘hard’ facilities management
projects for clients including Saint-Gobain.

The company has been acquired by First Response Group, a ‘soft’ facilities management company led by owners Jamal Tahlil and Edgar Chibaka, which was founded in Leeds in 2007. The business now has a £15 million
turnover and eight branches nationwide including London and Cardiff.

Both the buyers and the vendors were advised by separate corporate finance teams at Yorkshire accountancy firm Garbutt + Elliott. Acting on behalf of Robinsons M&E from the practice’s Leeds office, partner Richard
Feltham assisted managing director Luke Kitchen to exit the business by securing a swift and substantial sale, while also safeguarding the future of the business.

Commenting on the sale, Luke said: “Richard at Garbutt + Elliott instantly saw real value in the business that we hadn’t recognised even as its owners. The firm was a great cultural fit and their advice helped us recognise
Robinsons M&E as a valuable and saleable business and, most importantly, complete the deal. “We were looking for a buyer that understood the company’s 50-year history and had the vision and ambition for
its future. First Response Group was that perfect match, as its owners share the same ethos of client service and employee care.”

Advising from Garbutt + Elliott’s York office, partner Tony Farmer has enabled First Response Group to accelerate its growth as part of a 10-year business strategy, by acquiring a complementary business that enables
it to offer integrated soft and hard facilities management to clients.

First Response Group’s Edgar Chibaka said: “We’ve worked with Tony and his team for two and a half years and they have really pulled a fantastic result out of the bag. They took the time to understand our business and
provided forward-thinking advice which saw us acquiring a business that was larger than we originally planned. “This acquisition brings all of the benefits of a complementary business, with Robinson M&E’s excellent track
record in hard facilities management, outstanding client service and highly qualified staff. It will instantly accelerate our growth plans beyond soft facilities management, giving us a very credible offer to a broader range
of clients.”

Garbutt + Elliott’s partner of corporate finance Richard Feltham, said: “It’s hugely rewarding to complete a successful deal with two satisfied parties. It was a pleasure working with Luke to secure the sale.”


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