Management Buyout At GSE Group

6th July 2020
Paul Brooks

A family-run Kent company is building on solid foundations following a management buy-out.

Managing Director Tony Bowles and Group Director Josh Healey have bought Development’s Chairman Darrell Healey’s shares in the building, civil engineering and plant hire divisions of Ashford-based GSE Group, which employs more than 130 people.

The company has a solid reputation within Ashford and the surrounding areas for being active within the community through sponsorship of local teams and of Radio Ashford, as well as employing hundreds of local people over the years since first beginning in 1986.

Darrell will remain as a non-executive director and will continue as head of the group’s property and development division, identifying future opportunities.

GSE Group continues to provide civil engineering, construction and plant hire services to customers across the South East of England and London.

It owns Waterbrook, a 140-acre site close to junction 10 of the M20 in Ashford where planning permission has been granted for around 400 new homes and new commercial space which, when fully developed, would provide approximately 750 jobs. Waterbrook Park will also include a 13-acre Linear Park incorporating a natural lake.

The Waterbrook site is also home to Ashford International Truckstop, owned by GSE and where work is under way to double capacity from 300 to 600 HGVs, making it the largest truck stop facility in Europe, with around 200 of the new spaces available now.

The group also owns the four-star Hythe Imperial hotel and has recently bought and refurbished the Marquis of Granby pub, near Dover.

Announcing the management buyout, Darrell Healey said: “GSE Group is firmly established as one of the leading companies in the construction industry in Kent and the South East.

“It has continued to grow through some of the most challenging times the sector has ever faced and enters this new chapter of its history on a firm footing.

“The Waterbrook project has taken many years of hard work and determination to get over the line. With work having started on the site, I feel the time is right to take a step back and let Tony and Josh take the business forward.”

Former Operations Director Tony Bowles joined the group 20 years ago as a groundworker, progressing through the ranks to site foreman and site manager, before heading up the project management and contracts teams.

He said: “I am looking forward to working with Josh and the opportunities and challenges ahead, especially having seen the company evolve over my 20 years within the business alongside our loyal office and site based staff.”

Josh Healey has more than 10 years’ experience in the construction industry and has an unrivalled knowledge of the industry in Kent and the south east having lived and worked in the region all his life.

Josh said: “It is important to us that GSE Group remains a family business. Over the years we have built a loyal customer base and an excellent reputation and Tony and I will continue that tradition.”

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