Clearwater International has advised WJ Group on receiving a majority investment from THI Investments, a long-term pan-European private equity investor.
Formed in 1987 by current Managing Director, Wayne Johnston, WJ is a supplier of road markings and specialist highway products and services, with a diverse customer base including Highways England, Transport for Scotland, Transport for London and multiple Local Authorities and Tier 1 contractors.
WJ has nine key depots across the UK and a fleet of over 220 specialist vehicles, enabling it to serve both local and national customers at the highest service level.
The Group has demonstrated exceptional organic growth driven by investment in new products and vehicles including high performance road marking materials and efficient installation vehicles to deliver unrivalled levels of service. This has been supported by a multitude of historical strategic acquisitions.
The investment partnership will allow WJ to continue to provide high quality services and make further investments in innovation, technology and expansion in the UK and European markets. This transaction provides an attractive opportunity to leverage the complementary expertise of THI, its operational experience and automotive heritage.
The Clearwater International team consisted of Partner Paul Jones, Associate Director Zack Goddard, Senior Associate Andrew Hatch, and Executive Courtney Walker. Debt advisory support was provided by Managing Partner Mark Taylor and Director David Grassby.
Wayne Johnston, Group Managing Director, WJ Group said: “We are excited to welcome THI as our new investment partner to support our business as it enters the next phase of growth. THI’s permanent capital, ability to take a long-term view and operational experience including in the automotive sector make it the perfect partner to support WJ Group’s future development. The Clearwater International team have worked with WJ for a number of years and were able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of our objectives and our markets to find an excellent partner in THI.”
Paul Jones, Partner, Clearwater International said: “The need for high-quality road markings and associated services is essential for the safety of road users. WJ’s services are a highly cost-effective way of maintaining and dramatically improving the safety of the network. As the industry moves towards preparing roads for autonomous vehicles, the need for high-quality road markings will become increasingly important. Through its partnership with THI, the Group is exceptionally well positioned to deliver further sustainable growth and increase its technical service offering. We would like to wish Wayne and the team all the best for WJ’s next phase of growth.”