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NWC and High Access Merge

The merger creates one of the largest independent facilities management services companies in the UK, with a combined revenue of £30m.

Nationwide Window Cleaning (NWC) and High Access Maintenance have joined forces in the inaugural merger of two BGF-backed businesses, the first in the investor’s history. 

The merger creates one of the largest independent facilities management services companies in the UK, with a combined revenue of £30m. BGF has supported the merger with a further capital investment of £5.5m. 

High Access’ Niel Bethell takes the role of Group CEO while NWC’s Thornton Tasker will become the Executive Chairman. Niel and Thornton founded their businesses in the mid to late 2000s and have pushed forward significant growth in recent years.

The merger was initiated by the two founders and BGF, bringing together the synergies and strengths of the businesses to create one company of significant scale. Customers – which include major retailers, hospital and universities as well as blue chip property development firms – can now benefit from enhanced coverage of the combined group and tap into an even broader service offering, from high-level property maintenance to access machinery hire.    

Leeds-headquartered NWC, which provides window cleaning and specialist cleaning services, has experienced a £10m increase in revenue, four times increase in profits and has grown its team to 320 since BGF’s investment in 2014. The group has opened a new head office, added an operational base in Crayford, and completed three successful acquisitions.

Working-at-heights specialist High Access, which is headquartered in Manchester, provides building, roof and gutter maintenance as well as safety system testing and glazings, coatings and hire. After partnering with BGF in 2016, the company acquired Scotland-based Outreach Access and AA Access to open up in new markets including events maintenance at major sporting venues across the UK.

The new group, which retains the Nationwide Window Cleaning and High Access brands, will become NSS Group.

Thornton Tasker, NWC’s Founder and Executive Chair of NSS Group, said: “Both Niel and I have individually worked to create businesses of scale, by investing in our employees and providing the highest quality service to customers. There are so many synergies between the companies, not only in our operations but also in our aspirations for the team and the future. Without doubt this merger couldn’t have happened without the backing, support and investment from BGF who have consistently worked with us to unlock growth opportunities, and make them happen.”  

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