Livingstone has advised the shareholders of Aston Barclay on a multi-million pound management buy-out and investment from private equity firm Rutland Partners.
Aston Barclay is the UK’s leading independent car auction group, operating from five sites across the country. Headquartered in Chelmsford, the business provides vehicle remarketing services to fleet and dealership vendors and has been owned by the Scarborough family since 1984.
Aston Barclay has invested heavily in recent years in both its auction sites and IT systems. This investment has delivered strong growth as well as establishing a market reputation for high levels of customer service.
Neil Hodson, formerly of HPI and Manheim, recently joined as CEO to oversee the latest phase of Aston Barclay’s development, which is centred around a new auction site at Donington Park in the Midlands. This superbly located site will initially utilise 6 acres when it opens in quarter four 2017, growing to 18 acres in 2018. The site offers a sizeable covered auction area and will enable Aston Barclay to offer, both vendors and buyers, market leading levels of service.
Further investment in IT, including a range of digital initiatives, will also enable Aston Barclay to shape the future of auctions for both buyers and vendors.
Glenn and David Scarborough, formerly Group Managing Director and Commercial Director respectively, will remain shareholders and non-executive directors. This continued commitment by the Scarborough family cements Aston Barclay’s family-run ethos and values, helping it to deliver the personal service for buyers and vendors that it is best known for.
Oliver Jones, Partner at Rutland, commented: “We are delighted to have completed our investment in Aston Barclay. The Donington site will deliver a step change in Aston Barclay’s offering to the market and we look forward to working with Neil Hodson and his team in delivering this next phase of growth.”
Aston Barclay’s Glenn Scarborough added: “We are delighted to welcome Neil and his management team as investors in Aston Barclay supported by Rutland Partners. These are exciting times for the remarketing industry and we are confident this support and the investment will enable Aston Barclay to exploit the opportunities for growth the market has to offer.”
He goes on to say: “We have really enjoyed working with the Livingstone team on what was an important transaction for us and an exciting development in Aston Barclay’s future. They showed commitment and hands-on support from start to finish and we are grateful for their valuable guidance throughout the process.”
Alex John, Partner at Livingstone, commented: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Glenn, David, Neil and the Aston Barclay team on this transaction. We believe the backdrop for the remarketing sector is very positive, and Rutland’s backing will allow Aston Barclay to considerably strengthen its position in the market. The deal is an excellent example of how private equity can play a role in driving growth and transitioning ownership in family businesses.”