Miles 33

Ethos is pleased to announce its investment in the acquisition of Water Direct, the UK’s leading emergency and alternative water services provider.

Headquartered in Earl’s Colne, Essex, Water Direct provides alternative and emergency (A&E) water and water services to the majority of UK water utilities and to over 600 businesses. The company offers its services through the UK’s largest dedicated fleet of water tankers and through its unique Nationwide Bottled Water Bank™ consisting of 20 strategically located storage sites.

The transaction facilitates the management buy-in led by Adam Johnson, principal of Soris Capital, who will run the business as CEO post-completion. Adam brings strong management and business development experience and a successful record of selling into large utilities. The current Managing Director, Jonathan West, will step back from his leadership role while continuing to provide his services to the company on a part-time basis, while the rest of Water Direct’s current management team will work alongside Adam to drive the continued growth of the business.

Ethos invested alongside Adam, a group of leading search fund investors from Europe and the USA, and the incoming Non-Executive Chairman, Andy Smith. Andy brings significant water industry experience, having spent 16 years at Severn Trent plc, including as Director of Water Services and Group HR Director.

Adam Johnson, CEO, said:
“I’m thrilled to be joining the talented and dedicated team at Water Direct at a pivotal moment in the company’s journey, as we grow our industry-leading A&E water services with water utilities and commercial customers across the UK. I am also very excited to invest further in our WaterTight™ contingency planning offering to do our part in keeping Britain’s water supply always on.”

Jo Cockburn, Investment Director at Ethos, commented:
“We are hugely excited to invest in Water Direct and to support Adam and the management team during the business’ next phase of growth. Water Direct is the market leader in A&E water provision to utilities and plays an important role in ensuring continued access to water for consumers and businesses, at a time when the increasing incidence of extreme weather and ageing water infrastructure are resulting in a higher frequency of disruptive events. We believe the business is well-placed to continue the growth that has been achieved under Jonathan’s leadership and to cement its position as the most reliable and trusted provider of A&E water services nationwide.”