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Barclays Private Equity supports £40m buy-out of Zenith Vehicle Contracts

08 juin 2007

Barclays Private Equity, the pan-European mid-market private equity house, today acquired a significant minority stake in Zenith Vehicle Contracts Limited, a well-established and growing specialist outsourcing contract hire and fleet management provider, from Dunedin. 

The transaction was at a headline price of £40m.  The investment was to support a tertiary management buy-out and will provide the company with increased capital to help fund its accelerating growth.  The acquisition adds to Barclays Private Equity’s support services portfolio, (which includes Direct Group, Webhelp, AFI-Uplift and Metal & Waste), one of its four sector focuses in the UK.   

Established in 1989 and headquartered in Leeds, Zenith Vehicle Contracts Limited is a mid-market provider set up to target clients with a typical fleet size of 100 to 1,000 vehicles. The company now manages over 18,000 vehicles.  The business has delivered strong year on year growth with excellent prospects for the future. The management team is led by Andrew Cope (Chief Executive) and Mark Phillips (Finance Director).  

Steve O’Hare, Investment Director at Barclays Private Equity, who will be a non-executive on the board, commented: “Zenith differentiates from its competitors in offering flexibility, a proactive approach to its customer base and ultimately the high quality of service it delivers. The business has grown market share and future indicators continue in this positive vein. The management team has built a quality, service-led proposition and we believe Zenith can be used as a platform for future acquisition opportunities.”  

Andrew Cope of Zenith, added: “ Zenith is at an important stage in its development and finding the right partner in Barclays Private Equity provides Zenith with the support it needs to create a new exciting future for the business.   We are delighted to be on board with the Barclays Private Equity team.”  

Mark Ligertwood, Director of Dunedin, commented: “Over the last two years, we have worked very closely with the Zenith management team to accelerate the company’s growth by targeting new customers, extending the product offering and maintaining the market leading service to existing customers.  

John Walker of Barclays Private Equity also worked on the deal. 

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