Osborne sells off third division in two years

Osborne has disposed of its property maintenance arm, the third division it has sold in two years.

The company said it “continues [to] restructure to focus on [our] core construction and development business” after selling its maintenance arm Osborne Property Services (OPSL) to Cardo Group, which specialises in public sector building maintenance services, for an undisclosed sum.

It offloaded its infrastructure arm in September 2021, while it sold its offsite manufacturing arm Innovare Systems to Bowmer + Kirkland in March – at the same time as its chief executive stepped down after less than six months in the post.

OPSL was established in 2006 and has more than 230 employees. It is one of four building firms on London’s three-year Innovation Partnership for retrofitting homes but made a pre-tax loss of £1.6m in the year ending March 2022.

Vicky Fordham-Lewis, who will retain her role as OPSL’s managing director, said: “I am tremendously excited by our collaboration with Cardo Group and feel that the growing group’s collective strengths in the fields of building maintenance and retrofit will allow us to evolve into a market leader, delivering the very best services to the social housing sector.”

A spokesperson for Osborne said: “We have agreed the sale of OPSL today in the latest stage of the strategic review undertaken by the board earlier this year. OPSL will thrive under its new owner and we look forward to seeing the business continue its success. All staff are transferring with the business.

“The board is continuing to implement the outcomes of the review, focusing the group on its core business of construction and development. Our existing projects are all going well and we are on track to deliver for our customers. The order book for 2024 continues to grow, with strong projected revenues next year.”

Osborne’s latest accounts, published in July 2022, noted that the sale of the infrastructure business returned the group to profit but said that substantial losses on “a small number” of projects delayed by Covid had affected the business.

The group added in those accounts that selling the infrastructure business would enable it “to make much greater use of modern methods of construction, such as offsite manufacturing and low-carbon technology”.

Osborne Group Holdings Ltd was acquired by Rosewood Group Holdings Ltd, a company with the same shareholders, in March 2022. In its latest set of accounts, Rosewood Group reported a pre-tax loss of £1.6m.

Cardo Group also acquired LCB Group, a property services provider based in the South West, four months ago. It called the acquisition of Surrey-based OPSL a “key stepping stone” in building a national footprint.

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