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Europa picks up Eastlake businesses

Thursday 14 May 2009

Europa has acquired the trade and assets of Work Facilities and Work Services, both part of Work Inc Group and recently put into administration.

Europa, a privately owned FM business, operates across the UK employing 1,400 people and with its head office in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

Work Inc Group is a workspace solutions business. Its services include FM service delivery, furniture lifecycle management and, maintenance, moves and logistics, space planning and furniture supply.

The take over pushes Europa’s annual turnover to nearly £100 million and sees the creation of a new business called Europa Workplace Solutions.

Work Inc had “a strong trading history but the parent company has recently become a victim of credit crunch cash pressures”, according to a notice from Europa.

The deal will see Europa re-financing the business and taking on key contracts and assets.

According to a source close to the deal, a big factor in the businesses running into difficulty was the collapse of a “major banking client” which failed to pay for services. Work Inc employees were not being paid regularly and owed salaries and wages.

But Europa has said it will meet all salary commitments for the 210 employees who will be transferring.

The firms acquired by Europa were part of the Eastlake Work Group, as reported in FM World last week. A statement from the joint administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers had said that Work Facilities was not part of any selloff.

The new Europa business will operate as a separate unit, Europa Workspace Solutions. It will continue to serve its existing clients and will enable Europa to offer additional services to its customers across a range of sectors.

Greig Brown, chief executive of Europa said the deal gives Europa “some great complimentary services and expertise”.

Brown noted that the while it was not a requirement of the deal, Europa has agreed to meet all outstanding salary commitments. “We want the Work Facilities and Services employees to stay with the business and help us grow it in the future and we believe this gesture will create a stable platform from which to take the company forward. We want motivated, committed employees who feel included in the business - that way we can grow together and deliver a great service that adds value for our customers.\"

Europa regards the deal as a natural fit and an opportunity to take another step forwards in realizing its business strategy.

In early 2008, Europa acquired UUFM, strengthening its capabilities and position in the utilities sector.

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