TClarke set to be acquired by Regent in £90m deal

Publicly listed engineering services contractor TClarke is set to be bought out by Regent Acquisitions in a deal worth £90m.

The move, which would see current investor Regent take control of the company for 160p per share, was unanimously backed by TClarke’s directors, who said they believed the firm had been undervalued by the market.

Shareholders would receive a 4.53p final dividend for the year under the deal, compared with the 5.35p paid out in 2022, TClarke stated this morning in an announcement to the London Stock Exchange.

The deal is subject to TClarke shareholder and regulatory approval.

This morning, shares at TClarke – ranked 45th in the CN100 2023 list of top contractors – rose by 35.5p, a premium of 28 per cent on yesterday’s closing price.

Last year, the company said it was targeting turnover of £600m after its half-year results showed only a modest increase in revenue and a dip in pre-tax profit.

In its latest financial year to 31 December 2023, TClarke reported unaudited total revenue of £491m – up from £426m the year before – while profit before taxation fell from £10.3m to £7.6m.

Regent Acquisitions, which currently owns about 21.5 per cent of TClarke shares, is part of the Regent Group, a leading supplier of gas and metering services to industrial and commercial customers principally in the leisure, retail and manufacturing sectors.

It said its strategy was to focus on areas of structural growth where it aimed to obtain a greater presence in segments such as building services.

TClarke chief executive Mark Lawrence said that in addition to securing an attractive premium for shareholders, the transaction presented an opportunity for the company to chart its own course as part of a larger group with significant financial strength, flexibility and autonomy.

“This new chapter in our journey opens doors to explore bold initiatives and opportunities that may not have been feasible in the past,” he said.

Regent chief executive Deep Valecha said his company had long admired TClarke since it first acquired shares six years ago, and was keen to see the business grow along its current lines.

“It is well run [and] has a strong culture helped by a commitment to a well-established apprentice scheme, which offers career progression and a high degree of staff loyalty,” he said.

“Given our admiration for TClarke, as part of our plans, we would like TClarke to continue its business in the manner in which it has been conducted.

“We will support the management team in their ambitions to strengthen the balance sheet and continue to grow the business.”

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