ThinCats delivers funding facility to SML Group to support acquisition of Geo-Info


SML Group has secured funding from ThinCats to complete the purchase of specialist rail surveying company, Geo-Info Limited to drive growth in this sector for SML Group Ltd. This is the largest acquisition that SML Group has made to date in its ambitious on-going buy-and-build strategy. The deal sees SML Group realise the opportunity to extend its expertise into the rail sector and drive the diversification of its client base, whilst also increasing capacity, resource and geographic presence.

The group already has a strong presence in Wales, Peterborough and Leicester, where the business is headquartered, and the latest acquisition extends the reach of its out of rail services to Geo-Info’s operational footprint in Edinburgh, Swindon and Mullingar, Ireland.

The SML Group is the holding company for a group of businesses dedicated to the land, building and valuations surveying sector. Its foundations were firmly established in 2007 through a dedicated subsidence monitoring company that recognised that the sector needed to innovate and transform. SML Group is one of the only companies in the UK that can offer a full breadth of services covering everything from traditional surveying to specialist subsidence monitoring and its property data services are designed to deliver exceptional cost savings to the valuation and insurance sector.

Geo-Info specialises in underground mapping and surveying to the rail and engineering sectors and operates across England, Ireland and Scotland. Since its inception in 2012, the company has gained several industry accreditations, shown considerable growth and engaged in numerous large, well-publicised rail projects.

Tom Harpin, managing director of SML Group Limited, said: “This acquisition will enable us to compete with the top surveying businesses in the country, with a substantial market share and over 100 staff. Rather than being content to consolidate our position in the market, the ThinCats facility has given us the additional working capital we need to accelerate our growth.”

He continued: “We had received a number of offers from other lenders, but what made ThinCats stand out was the human aspect. I felt that they were genuinely interested in what I had done before and what I am looking to achieve in the future. We definitely look forward to building our relationship and to working with them again on further acquisitions.”

Geraint Regan, director, regional business development, ThinCats, added: “Midlands based SML Group is going from strength to strength and we are proud to be supporting them at this important time in their development. This acquisition creates a very strong platform from which the Group can continue to drive its growth strategy. We are excited at the prospect of working with Tom on future acquisitions to expand the range of surveying activities into other connected areas in the market.”