Alantra advised SMH Fleet Solutions Limited on the sale of SMH Fleet Solutions Limited

SECTORBusiness Services


Sep 2018
Sell-side advisory

Alantra, the global investment banking and asset management firm, has advised the shareholders of Worcester-based SMH Fleet Solutions, a leading vehicle defleeting and remarketing specialist, as it secures a minority investment fromprivate equity investor LDC, with acquisition facilities provided by HSBC.

According to Alantra, the automotive aftermarket and services market continues to experience high levels of M&A and increasing attention from acquisitive corporates and private equity investors.In the first half of 2018, 112 deals were completed globally (6 in the UK), while 2017 saw a total of 244 deals in the sector (21 in the UK).Recent deals include Penske Automotive’s acquisition of The Car People (January 2018); Rutland Partners’ investment in Aston Barclay, one of the UK’s leading car auction groups (June 2017); and BCA’s (British Car Auctions) £135m acquisition of Paragon Automotive (July 2016).

Jamie Hope, a Partner in the UK advisory business of Alantra, said: “In advising SMH Fleet Solutions, we are delighted to have supported a sizeable regional transaction that has enabled the Company’s shareholders to secure investment to support both organic growth and growth through acquisition.”

He added: “With the UK car parc at record levels, M&A in automotive services sector is thriving and the requirement for services in the supply chain and aftermarket has never been greater. These businesses are able to leverage their technological capabilities and ‘know how’ to provide value in areas that their clients increasingly look to outsource, and as a result they are attracting the attention of domestic and international corporates and private equity investors.

Richard Benyahia, a Vice President in the UK advisory business of Alantra who worked alongside Jamie Hope, commented: “As a provider of vehicle management and logistics services, SMH Fleet Solutions is a great example of a business that is successfully capitalising on these positive market drivers. With new funding, it is very well placed to take advantage of consolidation opportunities within a fragmented market.”

Headquartered in Worcestershire, SMH Fleet Solutions provides a full-suite of fleet management services including delivery, preparation, refurbishment, and remarketing of vehicles to a broad range of blue chip automotive manufacturers, rental and leasing specialists.The business employs c. 400 people. Achieving record revenues of over £42m in its latest financial year to December 2017, the investment will enable SMH Fleet Solutions to further expand its footprint with new sites across the UK and grow its service proposition through an ongoing buy and build strategy, following the successful acquisition of vehicle remarketing firm CD Auction Group last year.

The UK Advisory business of Alantra has advised on the following transactions in this sector:

  • advising Phoenix Equity Partners on its investment in Global Freight Solutions alongside management (2017)
  • advising Palatine Private Equity on its investment in TTC Group, a leading provider of road user and cycling education courses in the UK
  • advised the shareholders of Fleet Hire on the sale of the business to Australian-based SG Fleet Group Limited (2016)
  • advised the shareholders of Allen Ford (UK’s leading Ford franchise dealer groups) on the £46 million sale of the business and property to South Africa’s Super Group (2015).

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