SMH Fleet Solutions drives growth with LDC investment

Mid-market private equity investor LDC has completed a minority investment in leading vehicle management and logistics support specialist SMH Fleet Solutions with acquisition facilities provided by HSBC.

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.

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.

LDC is backing the existing, experienced management team, led by Managing Director Martin McAuley, Finance Director Andy Baxter and Commercial Director Simon Withey. The transaction was led by Andy Lyndon, Chris Handy and Matt Newbold at LDC. As part of the deal, Andy Lyndon and Chris Handy will join the board, alongside Andrew Cope, former CEO of leasing giant Zenith, as Non-Executive Chairman.

Martin McAuley, managing director of SMH Fleet Solutions, said: “The business has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years, growing both organically and through targeted acquisitions, which have helped us to continually evolve our service line.”

“For us, the time is right to bring an investment partner on board, and with LDC, we are working with a team who understands our ambition for the future. We’re now focused on further expanding our footprint across the UK, and continuing to grow our offering to ensure our customers have a market-leading breadth of support to meet all of their vehicle management needs.”

Andy Lyndon, Head of LDC in the West Midlands, said: “Large corporates rely on trusted partners with a focus on outstanding service to manage the end-to-end maintenance and movement of their vehicles. SMH Fleet Solutions has a proven track-record in this space, and with an ever-increasing demand for its services, the business is in prime position to further accelerate its growth strategy.

“Martin and the team are a great example of the business leaders we are keen to support, and we look forward to working with them to build on the platform they have created to drive further growth.”

LDC was advised by Freeths, KPMG and EY Parthenon.

SMH Fleet was advised by Midlands-based Gateley and Alantra.

Notes to Editors

  1. LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  
  2. LDC backs ambitious management teams from UK-based medium sized companies seeking up to £100m of investment to fund management buyouts or development capital transactions.
  3. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure, Support Services, Construction & Property and Financial Services.
  4. LDC has a UK regional network with locations in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading.