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Willmott Dixon looks for buyer for support services division

Willmott Dixon is putting its support services division up for sale.

The contractor said the division, which includes Willmott Dixon Partnerships and Willmott Dixon Energy Services, was being “hampered… by being minority players” in the wider group.

It added that the businesses were performing well but “deserved more”.

The firm has invited expressions of interest from strategic partners, investors or purchasers “who feel they can help unlock the significant potential in these two businesses”.

The sale is not a foregone conclusion, however, with Willmott Dixon admitting there was “a degree of uncertainty involved”. The firm said it would keep the business within the group if no buyer could be found.

The group currently has three operating divisions, with major contracting and residential development running alongside the support services arm.

In a statement, Willmott Dixon said: “Whilst the support services division is performing well under experienced and capable management, and is expected to continue delivering reliable and profitable returns well into the future, the group board believes there to be significant untapped potential.

“Indeed, with the right direction, support and synergies, it is confident that the two subsidiary companies involved – Willmott Dixon Partnerships and Willmott Dixon Energy Services – could each grow to challenge ‘market leader’ status in their respective sectors.

“The board also recognises that these businesses are being hampered to some extent by being minority players in a group predominantly rooted in contracting and development activity.

“Efforts have been made to accommodate their different needs and provide the right leadership and support environment, but if they are to realise their full potential they deserve more; this would be best achieved by seeking input from another organisation able to offer greater support services focus, to cross-fertilise specialist skills and business relationships, and to heighten ambition and accelerate growth.”

The company has appointed EY as advisers.

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