Charity trading subsidiary’s first acquisition hailed as ‘significant’ for sector
The first acquisition by the trading arm of mental health
charity Gofal has been hailed as a “significant statement within
Gofal Enterprise Ltd (GEL) has bought Caerphilly-based cleaning
firm APP UK, for an undisclosed figure.
APP UK was established in 1983 by Julie Nobes, who will remain
with the business as it scales up its commercial cleaning and
She said: “This is an exciting time for APP UK. We are looking
forward to working together with GEL to create a company that
excels in the service sector, creating a unique customer
The acquisition is a first for GEL, which was set up in 2010 to
develop and operate a portfolio of socially responsible businesses
that invest profits back into the charity.
GEL is targeting a £1.8 million turnover for 2016/2017 which
will be achieved through continued organic growth and its
The acquisition of APP UK complements GEL’s existing social
business, PS Facilities Management, which provides cleaning,
building and maintenance services to organisations across south
Wales, including Flexicare Medical Services, Celtic Horizons,
Valleys 2 Coast, Trakcel, and DVS Ltd.
The move comes after GEL announced its plans last year to
undertake a series of acquisitions to strengthen its position in
the market and generate alternative income streams for
Matthew Cole, Director of business development at Gofal,
welcomed the industry-leading move.
He said: “We are delighted that Gofal Enterprise Ltd has been
able to take this exciting step forward in acquiring APP UK.
“We feel that this is a confident move in the right direction
for GEL and welcome the opportunity to work alongside Julie, who
has established a great business in APP over the last thirty
“We recognise the need to think differently and creatively about
the way we generate income for Gofal and this acquisition not only
strengthens GEL’s current offering but will help to generate
much-needed funds for Gofal, in what is a challenging economic
environment for the sector.
“With the aim of leading social enterprise innovation in Wales
by running a portfolio of socially profitable businesses, this is
the first of a series of acquisitions that we aim to complete over
the coming months.”
The acquisition also provided ‘firsts’ for GEL’s funding
partners - Finance Wales and Social Investment Cymru (SIC) at Wales
Council For Voluntary Action (WCVA).
For Finance Wales it is the first time the investment company
has funded a charity acquisition, whilst for SIC it is the first
time funding a buy-out on this scale.
Matt Brown Head of Social Investment Cymru at WCVA, said: “For
the third sector this sends a very strong message. Buying a
commercial organisation is a rare occurrence. It’s a real statement
of intent of what a social enterprise can become.
“The scale it will give GEL will mean that it is now a major
player in the market place.
“There are very few social enterprises of this scale in Wales.
Whilst they do exist they are few and far between so this is a
really significant statement for the sector.”
Steve Galvin, of Finance Wales, welcomed the opportunity to work
with both GEL and Social Investment Cymru.
He said: “We are very impressed with the vision of GEL and are
happy to support its ongoing plans for more acquisitions.
“We are confident that Matt and the GEL team can build a
sustainable social business which fits with Finance Wales’
corporate social responsibilities.
“We also welcome the opportunity to work jointly with Social
Investment Cymru at WCVA on what has been a first for all
GEL was advised by Nigel Greenaway of leading corporate law firm
Greenaway Scott and Richard Coppock of RCA Corporate