Wokingham: Leasedrive Velo in £80m MBO

Wokingham-based Leasedrive Velo, one of the UK’s largest independent privately-owned vehicle management groups in the UK, has been bought by its senior management team in a deal valued at £80m.

The transaction is backed by private equity house Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) through its Reading office, which has made a significant investment for a majority stake in the business. Debt and asset finance facilities to support the deal were provided by The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). A new company has been formed, Leasedrive Velo Group.

The senior management team remains the same with Roger Partridge as chief executive officer, Roddy Graham as commercial director, and David Bird as chief operating officer.

Chief executive officer of Leasedrive Velo Group, Roger Partridge said: “This new deal bucks the trend within our industry and demonstrates the confidence both we and our backers have in the future of this company. Indeed, the senior management team has significantly increased its equity and shareholding in the

new company.

“Lyceum Capital, the private equity company which had originally acquired Velo in 2003 and who became the majority stakeholder following the merger of Leasedrive with Velo at the beginning of 2007, had been keen to sell its interest following the successful integration of the two companies.

“We successfully secured the support of LDC and RBS despite the tough economic climate. LDC is one of the UK’s foremost private equity specialists who have tracked us for some time while RBS really needs no introduction. It tried to back our original BIMBO transaction in May 2003 and the merger between Leasedrive and Velo in January 2007. For the bank, it’s a case of third time

lucky! However, the fact that we have secured the backing of two major financial institutions underlines the faith they have in our future and the strength of our business. The bank incidentally also sponsors The Business Management Team Award in the Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards, which we have won for the last two years in recognition of our enlightened, innovative,

and forward-thinking approach.

“This transaction represents another major milestone in the development of ourbusiness. Our vision remains to continually strive to deliver the highest quality bespoke vehicle management service and demonstrably add value to our clients through investment in people, world-class fleet management systems and

totally-integrated innovative solutions. For our staff and valued customers, we believe this transaction provides us with improved stability and will make us even stronger for the future. We have a proven track record of buying out,growing and improving the performance of this company.”

Kevan Leggett, managing director of LDC, said: “Leasedrive Velo has built a quality reputation which is a key differentiator in this competitive and growing market. We were particularly attracted to its differing sources of revenues which provide the business with significant downside protection.

“It has built a high quality client base not only by developing unique technology platforms and innovative products, but by providing a level of service and support which is far higher than the industry standard.

“We’re backing the outstanding management team that is responsible for this and which has already demonstrated its ability to build shareholder value by successfully delivering on two transactions, including a complex merger.”