Plowman Craven secures major investment from Agathos to fuel next stage of growth


- Investment supports evolving product mix, driving digital services to add value to existing and new clients

- Transition in ownership & senior leadership team includes new CEO role and Board appointments

Plowman Craven, one of the UK’s largest surveying companies, announces that it has secured funding from private equity firm Agathos. This transformational investment will support the company on the delivery of its growth objectives to double the size of the business over the next five years.

Plowman Craven captures, processes and models data that underpin a broad range of activities across the property lifecycle. The business operates at the forefront of survey and measurement innovation, pioneering new methods and technologies delivering clients a first-class service. Due to its premium offering, Plowman Craven stands to benefit from long term market drivers in its niche including the continuing adoption of 3D modelling methods, automation in the logistics sector and the impact of ESG regulation in the broader property sector.

As a market leader and the largest measurement practice in the UK, Plowman Craven has a strong track record of successfully executing major projects. Over the years, the company has been involved in a range of exciting heritage, restoration and development projects including Olympia, King’s Cross and Palace of Westminster.

Growth plans

A major focus for Plowman Craven in the coming months and years will be accelerating its international growth, including increasing its presence in India and North America and entering the Australian market. Plans are also underway for Plowman Craven to develop its geo-tech capabilities and digital services, including developing software to create tools and data platforms for clients. The transaction will also unlock funding for Plowman Craven to be able to explore making targeted acquisitions.

Senior management team

The transaction facilitates Plowman Craven’s long-planned succession goals with several key changes to the senior team.

Managing Director Andy Molloy is retiring, having spent 15 years steering the strategic direction and successful growth of the company, having overseen a management buy-out in 2012.

David Locker, who has been Operations Director since joining the business in 2016, has been promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer, bringing wide-ranging commercial experience gained across multiple geographies and industries.

Board and company leadership

Hugh Costello, John Butterworth and Chanelle Jones led the transaction from Agathos. Hugh and John will both have representation on the Plowman Craven board.

Adrian Ringrose, former CEO of Interserve and serial non-executive director, will be joining the Plowman Craven board as non-executive Chair. Adrian brings many years of experience to the team.

David Locker, CEO at Plowman Craven, commented: “Attracting such significant external investment marks an exciting milestone and a tremendous opportunity for Plowman Craven to supercharge growth and increase our reach on a global scale. Having already established a strong foothold in our core market, the capital injection will facilitate positive change and expansion to elevate our business to the next level. Agathos is a growth-focused investment partner whose values and approach are aligned with ours, and who understands and appreciates our business and ambitions.”

He continues, “The transformation of the senior leadership team is part of a staggered plan to ensure a seamless transition for the business. I want to extend our sincere gratitude for the years of service and outstanding contributions from the executive team lead by Andy Molloy and extend a warm welcome to our newly appointed management team. We are currently ahead of our five-year plan and look forward with great optimism and confidence to capitalise on many exciting possibilities in the future.”

Hugh Costello, Partner at Agathos, commented: “We are thrilled to be investing in Plowman Craven. We see huge potential for the business in the UK and internationally, and we are looking forward to working with David and the team to deliver an ambitious growth plan.”

John Butterworth, Senior Investment Manager at Agathos, commented: “Plowman Craven is the trusted partner of choice for the whole industry, and for good reason. Its first-class service is underpinned by a culture of innovation, and the dedication and expertise of its 180 employees. We are delighted to be partnering with David and his team on the exciting journey ahead.”

About Agathos

Established in 2014, Agathos Management is a UK-based independent specialist investment firm investing in UK businesses valued up to £25m.

Agathos has >£50m committed capital from established family office investors who are passionate about investing in UK businesses to support their growth and the future economic health of the UK. It partners with exceptional management teams to help build valuable businesses that have a positive impact on the communities they serve.

This is the twelfth investment by Agathos, and the fourth investment from its Fund II, launched in 2021. Agathos is a growth-focused investor, specialising in partnering with management teams on the development of businesses operating in fast-growing markets. Agathos will typically work with founder-owned and managed businesses headquartered in the UK.

Plowman Craven secures major investment from Agathos to fuel next stage of growth

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Plowman Craven has more than 50 years’ experience, we provide integrated measurement and consultancy services.