Mears boss appointed as chair of new procurement business

Bob Holt, who drove the expansion and stock market flotation of property repairs giant Mears Group plc, has been appointed as chair of Inprova Group.

Bob Holt has a background in developing support service businesses. In 1996 he purchased control of Mears Group for £50,000 and took the company onto the Alternative Investment Market (AiM) at a market capitalisation of £3.6 million. Bob was instrumental in growing Mears to revenues of approaching £1 billion, a market capitalisation of £450 million and a workforce of 15,000.

Newly-formed Inprova Group, set up by the founders of purchasing firm CEL Procurement, will benefit from Bob Holt’s 40 years’ of business expansion experience. CEL Procurement, which had been providing procurement services since 1987, has been re-branded as Inprova in preparation for the Group’s ambitious growth strategy.

Inprova provide procurement outsourcing, consultancy and technology services across the private and public sector. Working in key markets such as logistics, private equity, health, local authorities and housing, it currently employs over 50 people and manages spend of over £0.5bnper year for its customers.

Inprova has a strong growth strategy which is underpinned by a solid core of customers in existing markets that offer significant expansion opportunities. Developing markets in the USA, Europe and the Middle East will also provide significant opportunities.

Investment from private equity house LDC is also fuelling Inprova’s growth plans, which consist of a UK and international acquisition strategy focussed on technology and category expertise that will complement the existing business.

Bob Holt, Inprova Group Chair said, “I’m delighted to have been appointed as Chair of a company that has such huge potential for growth. The markets that Inprova works in have large volumes of addressable spend that could be reduced through more strategic procurement. These markets can benefit from the improved quality and services provided by Inprova. I’m really excited about Inprova’s potential to support these markets.”

Paul Kennedy, Inprova Group Chief Executive said, “Typically procurement companies have a service based proposition or they offer complex IT systems. Very few integrate the two effectively. Inprova will fill this gap by combining the strength of our existing technology platform alongside our category expertise and our experienced procurement resource. I think it’s a blended offer that will appeal right across our target markets.”