Bluebox advises on the sale of Fleet Assist

Bluebox Corporate Finance is delighted to announce the sale of Fleet Assist Limited (Fleet Assist), the UK’s leading supply chain management specialists to the contract hire, leasing and rental sectors, to US-based investment fund Eli Global.  Pricing and other deal terms have not been disclosed.

Founded in 2003, Fleet Assist is the UK’s dominant provider of managed network services, with the most comprehensive national network of fully managed franchised and non-franchised repairers.  More recently the business has established a rapidly expanding rental division, targeting independent rental companies and garages requiring courtesy vehicles.

The acquisition by North Carolina-based Eli Global will provide Fleet Assist with a new tranche of funding, enabling it to accelerate its growth plans whilst retaining the same culture and ethos.  Managing Director Vincent St. Claire and Jonathon Smith, Chief Information Officer, are equity investors in the new structure, with co-founders Mike Smith and Simon English being retained on a consultancy basis to assist with exciting new projects.

 

Simon English, Co-Founder of Fleet Assist commented:

“We selected Bluebox after a fairly long round of evaluating potential advisors because of their scientific, yet challenging approach to maximising value. During our initial meetings they showed us how far short of “ready” we were and consequently we completed more preparation in the early stages which meant we were equipped for what was to come.

They got under the skin of the business and were highly influential and instrumental in forming the sale documentation and uncovered a couple of not-so-obvious candidates from their network along with our expected suspects. Following management presentations they conducted extensive negotiations and juggled the difficult task of delaying the fast movers and creating urgency with the slower ones. Consequently, despite some quite differing timescales from our suitors, we were able to assess the final offers concurrently.

Following agreement on Heads of Terms Bluebox managed the exclusivity period throughout and continually gave great guidance to us. They were the fulcrum for all parties and kept on top of all aspects as we progressed to completion; counselling during the inevitable bumps along the way.

When we entered the process the main shareholders considered how we would establish if our chosen corporate finance provider had done as good or better job as their peers in the industry might have done. Eventually it was easy… they achieved an exit price above our expectations to a party (one of the not-so-obvious) that we believe none of the others would have found. The acquirer is a great fit for management, customers and staff; we could not be happier with that outcome.

We were delighted with our choice of Corporate Finance partner. I do not hesitate in recommending Bluebox for any SME to consider.”

 

Jonathan Rich, Director at Bluebox added:

“We are delighted to have delivered a deal which met the objectives of both the shareholders and the management team.  Not only did the sale to Eli Global demonstrate our ability to identify the right investor but we were also able to negotiate a deal which enabled the co-founders to exit from the business whilst providing the management team with the financial support to accelerate their growth plans.  The future is extremely exciting and we wish Vincent, Jonathon and the rest of the senior management team continued success under new ownership.”


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