Total Capital Partners has funded the management buyout (MBO) of a logistics business with centres in Leeds, Birstall and Manchester, which has valued the acquired company at £20m.The private equity house is providing £13.5m of equity and debt, and will take a 60 per cent equity stake in Walkers Transport. Walkers Transport carries ambient, non-hazardous, palletised goods for a broad range of manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and distributors.The company comprises George Walker Transport Ltd, George Walker Transport Manchester Ltd and Northern Hub Ltd.
The MBO is the second investment that Total Capital Partners has made this year and follows the MBO of Weird Fish in April 2017. Current owner Nigel Jenkinson who will continue to be involved in the business as a non-executive director and consultant and as a result of the MBO, ownership will transfer to the management team led by chief executive Richard Simpson, with Jenkinson retaining a minority stake.Walkers has experienced strong growth over the last few years with turnover increasing from £18m in 2014 to £25m in 2016.
The new management team plans to continue to grow and develop its competitive service offering in the M62 corridor.The deal was led by Mark Buttler who joined Total Capital Partners as a partner in November 2016. Buttler said: "Walkers is fantastic business with a market leading reputation and strong potential for further growth.We believe that the business has a compelling growth opportunity due to its focus on providing excellent customer service and track record of new customer wins. We look forward to working with Richard and his team to capitalise on these opportunities as the business continues to invest and expand its operations."
Natalie Eastham, managing partner of Total Capital Partners, added: "We are delighted to be able to again demonstrate the Total Capital model at work, this time for a fast-growing logistics business in the North of England. "It testifies to the appeal that our flexible combined equity and debt funding approach has for management teams, providing an attractive alternative to the traditional leveraged private equity model for businesses and transactions requiring funding of £10-30 million."
Richard Simpson, chief executive of Walkers Transport, said: "We are really pleased to have Total Capital on board. "Their funding model made sense for us and equally important, was the chemistry with the Total Capital team.
"We are excited about the future and we are looking forward to working with Total Capital as we enter our next exciting phase of growth."
Matt Copley and Andy Higgins at BDO and Sam Irving, Mike Wallis and Paul Miller at Graphene Partners also provided due diligence advice.
Total Capital Legal was advised by John Hamer and Ed Brown at Walker Morris.
This article was published in Insider on Wednesday 18 October 2017