February 21, 2017

Strand Group has been taken over by Prospero Holdings Limited. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, takes immediate effect.

Established in 2004 in the Isle of Man, Prospero Holdings is a leading facilities services and maintenance provider with offices in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Prospero offers a wide range of services but primarily looks after commercial properties for clients from all business sectors. It carries out planned preventive maintenance, servicing and installation of air conditioning, plumbing, heating and electrical systems. Prospero also carries out office refurbishments, fit-outs and business relocations and offers a 24/7 reactive service to clients. In facilities services terms, the majority of work is described as hard services.

Strand Group is made up of Strand Facilities Services, the largest commercial cleaning company on the island, document management business Storall, commercial refuse collection business Clean A Way and long established brand, Krypton Cleaning Services, which now specialises in washroom services. Strand Facilities Services focuses primarily on what is described in the industry as soft services. These include commercial cleaning, key holding, window cleaning, caretaking, cleaning the ships for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, washroom & hygiene services, and eco-friendly cleaning.

James Pettigrew, Prospero’s Managing Director, said, ‘I’m delighted to have acquired Strand Group and to be adding such a prestigious local business to the Prospero Group. I’ve been an admirer of Strand Group for a number of years, the business has such a great history and is comfortably the largest soft services provider on the Isle of Man. Historically, the hard services side of Prospero’s business has been a lot larger than the soft services side but this acquisition brings that into balance. We are now truly a one-stop shop for clients for all their facilities services needs and this will undoubtedly provide many opportunities for further growth.’

John Hellowell, founder and Chairman of Strand Group, will take the opportunity to retire after 43 years in business. He said, ‘We are really pleased that Prospero and Strand are joining forces. There were obvious synergies in bringing the businesses together. Our move to Sailmaker House two years ago cemented our long-term future. This deal consolidates the long-term strategy of the business. When we started the business in 1988 we had just two employees and they were cleaning windows in Strand Street. We’ve come a long way since then. When we were approached by Prospero it allowed me to fulfil a lifetime’s working ambition and the time is now right for me to retire.’

Gill Young, Strand Group’s Finance Director and Company Secretary, was involved with the business from the start and she will stay on in the short-term and retire later in the year.

Mr Hellowell will be involved in an advisory capacity throughout 2017 to ensure a smooth handover. He added, ‘We have a strong management team and a dedicated workforce. James Pettigrew has spent the last few days getting to know our directors and managers and meeting as many of the team as possible. It really is business as usual as far as our clients are concerned. We run a lean and efficient business so there are no job losses to consider as there is little overlap in the takeover.’

Prospero will now move into Sailmaker House, Strand Group’s purpose-built 18,000 square feet HQ at Tromode. The new Group now employs in excess of 200 people. ‘Strand Group is a perfect fit for us and I’m looking forward to working with the management team to continue the success of our businesses and I’m sure some very exciting times lie ahead,’ said Mr Pettigrew.

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