Management team buys out Chippenham firm thanks to Swindon company

By Anita Jaynes on 6 October, 2015

The management team of a specialist automotive learning and development agency based in Wiltshire has bought the company thanks to expert support.

Corporate finance specialists Watersheds, based in Bath Road, Swindon, enabled the directors of RTS Group, located in Langley Road, Chippenham, to take over the firm.

RTS was founded by Richard Wells nearly 30 years ago and since then has consistently developed programmes designed to engage with motor manufacturers to develop frontline dealership staff.

Malcolm Miller joined RTS four years ago to build up the business, position it for growth and take over from Richard, so that he could develop his other business interests.  Together with his fellow directors John Brannigan, Jessica Starley, Katherine Searle, and supported by Finance Director Alison Noble, the team successfully took ownership of the business that they had helped to run since 2011.

Commenting on working with Watersheds, Malcolm said: “Managing a growing global business at the same time as delivering a management buy-out would have been an impossible task without the guidance of the right professionals. Watersheds were with us every step of the way and were invaluable through this very steep learning curve.”

The management buy-out (MBO) deal was managed by Watersheds’ Sue Green and Jessica Painter, who led negotiations to allow both parties to preserve their strong business relationship.

Jessica said: “Structuring a buy out and raising the funds to finance the transaction is not something many managers have done before. We were able to negotiate, manage and deliver this for the team to allow them to get on with their ‘day jobs’; running the business and continuing to deliver quality services to clients.

“I’m delighted to see Richard realise his investment and for the team to enjoy the rewards of owning the company that they have helped to build.  The deal involved a complex structure involving multiple subsidiary companies, multiple shareholders and investors and contracted revenue streams, which required careful consideration.  It was important for us to simplify this for the bank in order to secure the funding required. Through the number of transactions that Watersheds work on, we have a great experience to be able to advise on these.”

The transaction was supported by Lloyds Commercial Finance, with legal advice from Clark Holt and tax advice from Claritas.

Pictured above: The RTS team