As the financial year end approaches, Smith Cooper Corporate Finance have announced yet another record-breaking 12 months with around 40 deals, well in excess of the 35 completed in the prior year.

Midlands-based Smith Cooper Corporate Finance have completed a broad range of transactions in 2018/19, including two high profile deals in February; namely the sale of Prestige Fleet Servicing Limited to the AA and, most recently, the Buy-In-Management-Buy-Out (BIMBO) of MRDB Holdings Limited.

Prestige, a class-leading technology-led company which provides service, maintenance and repair services (SMR) to fleet and leasing companies, was sold to AA plc for a cash/debt-free value of £8.7 million. Prestige undertakes over 120,000 SMR interventions a year. It is based in Melton Mowbray and will continue to be run by the existing management team.

It is a tribute to the East Midlands team at Prestige that their business has been singled out by the AA which described the acquisition as being “in line with our strategy to differentiate the AA through innovation and digital platforms” and as providing a “strong and profitable platform to strengthen its presence in SMR, working with fleet and leasing companies, and supporting OEM partners”.

MRDB has undergone a multi-million-pound BIMBO under which the existing management team has been expanded to bring in additional shareholder-directors with specific commercial expertise.

The MRDB team’s decision to undertake a BIMBO was borne of their plan to ensure continued rapid growth by supplementing their extensive industry experience with the broader commercial knowledge and expertise of a new Chairman, an experienced Non-Executive Director, and an international funding partner. Innovative royalty-based funding was provided by Duke Royalty Limited which provides alternative capital solutions to private companies whose owners wish to maintain equity control of their business. Duke Royalty is listed on the UK AIM market and is headquartered in Guernsey.

MRDB, based at Foston in Derbyshire and formed in 1977 is the largest privately-owned recreational vehicle (RV) parts wholesale company in the UK, supplying over 15,000 individual products and accessories in the motorhome, caravan, and converter market to approximately 1,700 end business customers. The business, which employs 60 in its Dove Valley headquarters and warehouse, has delivered astounding year-on-year sales growth, from £0.9m in 1999 to over £23m last year. Whilst growing fast, it has nevertheless built an unparalleled reputation for quality and service, its vast product range creating a unique “one-stop-shop” offer to its business customers.

Along with Smith Cooper, a very wide range of 13 separate advisers and funders worked on this structurally-complex deal, many based in the Midlands.

Looking to the future, despite uncertainties in the global economic-political landscape, including Brexit, Smith Cooper are seeing no shortage of opportunities. The pipeline for 2019/20 is exceptionally strong; as a consequence, the team are looking to expand and, for the first time, are recruiting graduate accounting trainees into the Corporate Finance division.