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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
19 December, 2016 - 21:12 By Tony Quested

University of Cambridge spin-out acquired by quoted UK group

Cambridge University spin-out Breathing Buildings has been sold to UK ventilation specialist Volution Group for an undisclosed sum.

Volution is a market leader in Britain and northern Europe and quoted on London Stock Exchange. Breathing Buildings, which remains anchored in Cambridge, was formed in 2006 by CEO Dr Shaun Fitzgerald from a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and with support from BP. Since then it has developed its own hybrid ventilation technology niche for the UK commercial ventilation market and is now a market leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of energy efficient, intelligently controlled natural and hybrid ventilation solutions. 

Breathing Buildings generated revenue of £7.8 million in its year ended March 31, 2016. 

The acquisition has been funded from the Volution Group’s existing bank facilities and is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing. It will be reported under Volution’s Ventilation Group division in the UK where it will widen the capability of the business in the attractive new-build commercial market.

Volution Group supplies ventilation products to the residential and commercial construction markets; the deal provides an exit for the company’s previous backers including MMC Ventures. CEO Ronnie George said: “I am delighted that we have completed this acquisition and look forward to welcoming Dr Fitzgerald and his team to the Volution Group.

“Breathing Buildings has developed a market leading position in the UK for natural and hybrid ventilation in commercial buildings and we are excited about their potential for continuing growth.”

Dr Fitzgerald added: “Becoming part of the Volution Group will enable us to maintain our focus on growth through new product development and the provision of a more comprehensive offer to our client base. I am excited about the opportunity to continue working with the business in the next phase of its development. Being part of the Volution Group offers significant new opportunities.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Dr Shaun Fitzgerald

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