Mears Group to sell TerraQuest business for up to £72mln

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Mears Group PLC (LON:MER) has agreed to sell its TerraQuest Solutions business unit to a vehicle controlled by Apse Capital funds.

The buyer will pay up to £72mln for the business – comprising a minimum of £61.8mln of cash, plus up to £5mln of performance related add-ons and £3.2mln in interest bearing loan notes.

Mears shares jumped 25% in Friday’s early deals, changing hands at 150p.

The deal will leave Mears solely focussed on its core proposition which is the provision of specialist housing solutions to central and local government.

Mears added that the mostly cash deal will significantly strengthen its balance sheet.

“TerraQuest has been a great success story within the Mears Group,” said David Miles, Mears chief executive.

“Through the provision of both financial and intellectual capital we have created a leading digital and technical services provider to the planning, infrastructure and property sectors across the UK. This transaction secures the next stage of TerraQuest’s development and allows Mears shareholders to realise significant value from this investment.

Miles added: “The disposal materially strengthens the Mears Group balance sheet and completes our strategic programme to focus on our core activities of specialist Housing services to local and central government clients.”

Stockbroker Liberum noted that the sale is pitched at a ‘good price’ as it repeated a ‘hold’ recommendation with a 115p target price.

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