Franki buys UK company

31 July 2017

Franki Foundations, a subsidiary of the Belgian-based BESIX Group, has completed the acquisition of the UK-based Martello Group, including its subsidiaries Martello Holdings, Martello Piling & Highmead Developments.

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A Martello bridge upgrade on behalf of contractor Carillion, for Network Rail in the UK. There were 35 bored piles with a diameter of 750mm, a depth of 15m, and a height constraint of 4m 

BESIX said the acquisition was in line with the strategy pursued by the group & Franki Foundations to boost UK activities, which have grown in recent years.

With 40 employees and a turnover of approximately €15 million, the Martello acquisition will contribute to the growth of Franki Foundations UK, which will now achieve a combined turnover of approximately €32 million and have a total of 84 employees.

Rik Vandenberghe, CEO of BESIX, said, “A highly innovative company with excellent technical abilities, Martello fits perfectly in the philosophy of Franki Foundations and BESIX Group. 

“This acquisition further strengthens our talent pool and expertise and will provide exciting additional opportunities in the UK and other countries in which BESIX Group operates.”

Wim Claesen, general manager of Franki Foundations, added, “The acquisition of the Martello activities is a real milestone for Franki Foundations and BESIX Group. It reinforces the position of Franki Foundations on the UK market, not in the least because of the complementary network of Martello’s key clients. 

“By integrating Martello, Franki Foundations can now offer almost all foundation techniques, and target and deliver major projects in the UK.”

Martello Piling, based in Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK, specialises in piling solutions for complex projects executed in low headroom and very restricted access site conditions.

The Martello Piling name will be retained and the company will continue to operate as a specialist in large diameter rotary bored piling as well as in the design and installation of top down basement construction using an in-house designed plunge column frame.

Recently, Martello acted successfully as a subcontractor for Franki Foundations in Belgium on the renovation of existing foundations of electricity masts on the Mercator project for Belgian electricity delivery company Elia.

BESIX said that Martello’s in-house specifically-designed and manufactured rigs allowed its teams to work on challenging sites such as the execution of new foundations under existing bridges and railways, civil works in existing nuclear plants, extension of highways and the reinforcement of telecommunications and electricity masts.

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