Freeths Advises Checkmate Fire on Strategic Transaction

Freeths Corporate Team in Leeds has provided Legal advice to passive fire protection specialist Checkmate Fire who has joined forces with Rosse Systems -  enabling the enlarged group to offer a more extensive portfolio of solutions for the active and passive fire protection industry and increasing its access to the market across the UK.

Checkmate Fire is backed by YFM Equity Partners (YFM), which supported a management buyout in 2018 (and which Freeths also advised on), and supplies a comprehensive range of third-party accredited survey, installation and compliance services to public and private sector customers throughout the UK. Headquartered near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, maintains passive fire safety in around 1,500 buildings, and completes more than 12,000 fire door remediations or replacements every year.Rosse Systems, based in Shipley, West Yorkshire, is an expert in active fire and life safety solutions business with almost four decades of experience. Working across similar sectors to Checkmate Fire, the addition of Rosse Systems to the group enables it to increase its customer base and to enhance the Checkmate Fire product offering to include fire alarms, emergency lighting, CCTV, intruder alarms, access control, call systems, wireless systems, alarm monitoring, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments. John Lewthwaite, CEO of Checkmate Fire, commented: “With a reputation built on the strength and understanding of their customers’ requirements and a consultative approach to working with them, Rosse Systems is a great cultural fit with our business. They have fantastic knowledge and expertise in the active fire sector, coupled with a shared vision of delivering quality, accredited solutions to clients, and both businesses have incredibly successful track records in the fire safety industry.  As Checkmate Fire pursues its growth ambitions, the key to our ongoing success remains our clients and our people – we are committed to continuing to take a proactive role in fire safety by investing in developing both active and passive fire solutions.” Aaron Lowery, investment manager at YFM, commented: “The addition of Rosse Systems gives the enlarged group greater scale, new product capability and represents a platform that can be built out across the North and nationally. Since our investment three years ago, Checkmate Fire has already seen impressive top line growth, increasing its customer base and doubling revenue. Joining forces with Rosse Systems marks another important milestone and we expect to see further growth, both organically and via further acquisitions.”Dahren Naidoo, Freeths Partner, added “Having first advised YFM on its investment in Checkmate in 2018, we are delighted to continue to support Checkmate, YFM, John and the wider team on this strategic transaction.”

Checkmate Fire were advised by Freeths (Dahren Naidoo and Megan Atack – legal) and BHP (Martin Athey, Charlotte Ellerby and Mathew Oldfield – financial and tax due diligence).


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

Get in touch

Contact us today

Whatever your legal needs, our wide ranging expertise is here to support you and your business, so let’s start your legal journey today and get you in touch with the right lawyer to get you started.


Get in touch

For general enquiries, please complete this form and we will direct your message to the most appropriate person.