MBO secures succession plan at Leicester business

Deal was advised on by a range of Midlands teams

The holding company for CAPITAL Seating, a leading supplier of vehicle suspension seating and AUTO-TRIM Systems, a supplier of vehicle upholstery services, has undergone a management buyout.

Based in Leicester, CAPITAL Seating was established in 1968, and specialises in the supply of suspension seats and accessories to improve driver safety and comfort for all types of vehicle, as well as vehicle trimming services under the AUTO-TRIM Systems brand. The company is an official distributor for major seat brands including Grammar, KAB and Recaro, and supplies a wide range of sectors, catering to trade and retail customers across the UK and Europe.

The sale to a new holding company will see the existing, long-serving management team led by Joe Beales, Darren Tuckley and Melinda Tyack assume control of the business, as part of the next stage in the company’s long-term succession planning. The buyout funded by Santander will also provide finance for further growth of the successful company into the future.

The deal sees an exit for the Swann family, who have been involved in owning and managing the business since its inception, with current managing director, Stephen Swann, taking a consultancy role to provide on-going nonexecutive support for the management team.

FRP Corporate Finance was appointed to assist CAPITAL in raising new debt facilities to support the management buyout. Led by corporate finance partner Harry Walker and senior manager Fahim Kassam, the team sourced a number of competitive offers from several traditional and alternative debt funders and worked closely with the team at CAPITAL to identify Santander as the funding provider that would best suit the business’ ambitions.

Harry Walker, director at FRP Corporate Finance, said: “For any business owner, formulating a viable succession plan is a key step in ensuring that the vision they have worked so hard to deliver is continued into the future.

“With this in mind, we’re glad to have been able to support CAPITAL with its management buyout and financing in anticipation of future growth. We’re excited to see where they go next and wish the Swann family, the management team and everyone at the company the very best.”

Stephen Swann, managing director at CAPITAL Seating, said: “Since the business’ founding more than 50 years ago by my father, we’ve prided ourselves on being a local employer that strives to deliver the best client service in our industry. I am proud to be handing on the business to a management team that have worked alongside me and led the business for a number of years now. The company is in a great place for further growth and development in the future and this deal will provide a fantastic platform for the team to take it forwards.

“Fahim and Harry at FRP Corporate Finance exceeded our expectations in securing a range of attractive funding options for the buyout, whilst ensuring the deal was transacted smoothly for the benefit of all parties. We’re very thankful for their support and really appreciate the value that their involvement in the deal added.”

Simon Clewlow, director, Growth Capital, at Santander UK said: “We are delighted to provide this exciting business with funding to support its management buy-out and look forward to working with it as it grows over the years to come.”

FRP Corporate Finance provided fund-raising, project management and deal structuring advice, with tax advisory support from Rowley’s Chartered Accountants. A team from BHW Solicitors led by Steve McElhone provided legal advice to the vendors, with a team from Howes Percival led by Jahid Ali, Oliver Brookshaw and Haydon Simmonds supporting the MBO team and company. A team from Browne Jacobson led by Emma Hinton and Chereta Edmeade provided advice to the Santander UK team, led by Simon Clewlow and Paul Elliott. Pippa Miller-Hawkes and Phil Todd from BSN Associates provided financial due diligence to Santander UK.

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