px Group, the leading infrastructure solutions business and operator of several critical UK energy sites, can today announce that it has acquired Fairport Engineering (Fairport), the engineering and materials handling specialist based in the Northwest of England which includes Fairport Tunnelling Technologies in Sunderland.
The deal, the value of which is undisclosed, brings Fairport’s materials handling expertise into px Group’s group of businesses. The acquisition is the company’s first since being acquired itself by Ara Partners in April 2021 and follows the acquisition of Camm-Pro and NRG Well Management in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Fairport’s 70-plus staff will now be part of px Group.
px Group says that the acquisition is the next step in its international and domestic growth strategy, which comprises both acquisitive and organic growth streams. Earlier this year, px Group announced its first major operational work outside of the UK at the Risavika Liquefaction Plant, in Norway.
Until now, px Group had not had an ‘in-house’ materials handling offering but now, through the Fairport team, will be able to offer materials handling design, construction, and management both nationally and internationally. Materials handling expertise is required to be able to transport, import and export materials such as fuels and feedstock, as well as product, from both single industrial plants and large-scale sites.
In acquiring Fairport, px Group now has an engineering base in the Northwest of England, and a third base in the Northeast of England where it already has a significant presence (Teesside HQ, Saltend Chemicals Park) and in Scotland (Aberdeen). px Group says that the location and having ‘boots on the ground’ in the Northwest was a key factor in the decision to bring Fairport into the group.
Geoff Holmes, CEO of px Group, says: “We are thrilled to be adding Fairport’s expertise to px Group’s offering – the company is full of brilliant people who are experts in their field. We would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to Neil Hyde, Neil Hargrave, and their teams.”
“This is a strategically important move for px Group, given Fairport’s strong footprint in the Northwest and its industry-leading materials handling capabilities. The company has had a strong financial performance in recent years and should integrate seamlessly into our business model.”
“The Fairport teams are trusted experts. When we conducted our due diligence, clients and stakeholders could not have been more glowing about Fairport’s people and the way they work. That approach has been instilled by Fairport’s departing Chairman, Paul Fitton, and we are therefore delighted that Paul will still be available to support the business on a consultancy basis.”
Neil Hyde, Managing Director of Fairport Engineering, commented: “This is a major next step in the Fairport journey. We are in our 40th year this year and joining up with px Group, a world-class company delivering essential services to the UK energy industry, is a terrific way to celebrate that.”
Neil Hargrave, Managing Director of Fairport Tunnelling Technologies, adds: “Throughout the process, Geoff Holmes and his team stressed px Group’s owner-operator approach – which in practice means treating assets as if they were your own. That’s the way business should be, and it goes hand in hand with the way we do things – px Group is a fantastic fit for Fairport.”