EDWIN James Holdings, the Uddingston-based facilities services group, has unveiled its second acquisition since becoming part of an investment fund led by former Bowleven chairman Billy Allan.

The company has acquired Midlands-based Peterborough Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (PEME), a provider of electrical and mechanical plant and asset maintenance to large UK and European manufacturers, for an undisclosed sum. It is the second deal to be completed by Edwin James Holdings (EJH) since its acquisition by Aliter Capital 1 fund. The £92m fund, which is bidding to turn EJH into a national technical services business, was set up by Mr Allan and other entrepreneurs to invest in small to mid-sized support services firms across the UK.

Mr Allan, a one-time Partick Thistle director who built up UK facilities management group EJ Stiell before its sale to Alfred McAlpine in 2002, is joined in Aliter by former Europa and Emcor chief executive Greig Brown, ex-Stiell and Europa commercial director Andy Galloway, and private equity professional Andrew Busby. Mr Busby was once of HIG Capital and Brookfield.

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The PEME deal followed the fund’s acquisition of Staffordshire-based WT Parker Group, a family-owned mechanical, electrical and process engineering specialist. Between them the two deals have boosted turnover at EJH to around £150 million, with a headcount in the region of 1,000 staff.

PEME’s 165-strong workforce has moved across to EJH , including its senior leaders. Two non-executive directors and shareholders of PEME have left the business.

EJH, whose portfolio also includes Ingen Technical Services in Central Scotland, Inverness-based Korrie, and Musk in Derbyshire, recently hired senior engineering sector figure Derek Smith as chief executive as part of its growth strategy.

A former chief executive of oil and gas pipe industry specialist Ramco, Mr Smith said PEME would complement the expertise EJH gained in April when it acquired WT Parker, which is focused on traditional mechanical and electrical project services.

“That brought the scale to the group,” said Mr Smith, who officially joined EJH at the start of the month. “We then set about looking at parallel markets, where we could use the same skills.”

Mr Smith added that the service provided by PEME is focused on identifying problems with machine parts before they happen. “It’s not without its competitors, but how they provide it is pretty special,” he said. “That’s what drew us to make that acquisition.”

Asked if other deals were in the pipeline, he said: “For Edwin James, there are at least another couple that we are actively looking at, both from a service perspective and a geographic perspective and how we might bring them in to complete the jigsaw.

“Once those two are in place, it’s about rationalisation, it’s about growing the business, [and] it’s about [building] broader and deeper relationships with the customer base.”