Palatine buys fleet business and prepares buy-and-build strategy

Palatine Private Equity has made NRG Fleet Services its first investment from its new Fund IV after taking ownership of the Skelmersdale business.

NRG Fleet is a £90m-turnover provider of specialist services to the commercial vehicle sector with growth ambitions. Palatine has taken a majority stake and will back a buy-and-build strategy for the business.

It currently employs 280 people across two divisions, Riverside Truck Rental and Direct Tyre Management, and operates 10 national technical centres.

James Winterbottom, senior investment director at Palatine said: “NRG is a fantastic example of an entrepreneurial business which has seen impressive growth and innovation in its products and services.

“On the back of this investment, we look forward to supporting the team to deliver the many opportunities for value creation that present themselves, including a continued buy and build strategy and the further development of NRG’s services, which includes its strong market position for the delivery of electric vehicles.”

Winterbottom will join the board alongside colleague Tom Wildig, while Steve Dolton has been brought in as executive chairman.

NRG’s existing shareholders chairman Sid Sadique and chief executive Steve Richardson will be remaining with the business as it continues to scale, exploiting growth opportunities for both Riverside Truck Rental and Direct Tyre Management.

Riverside Truck Rental is national provider of fleet management services into the UK waste industry, directly servicing local authority providers and large UK waste management operators. It has been first-to-market with a new range of electric refuse collection vehicles.

Direct Tyre Management has developed a bespoke software system for HGV fleet owners and operators, providing them with a management information system, which delivers efficiencies and cost savings.

Richardson added: “This is an exciting new chapter for NRG and we are very much looking forward to continuing the successful journey we are on. Our customers and employees will benefit from the transaction as the new investment enables us to further develop our business and continue growing from solid foundations.

“Through both organic and acquisitive growth NRG will further enhance its position as the market leader over the coming years.”

Palatine was advised by a team from Deloitte (Jeremy Thomas and Anil Gupta) and law firm DWF (Jonathan Robinson). Commercial due diligence was provided by OC&C.

NRG’s shareholders were advised by Andy Thomas of Rothschild and by Rebecca Grisewood of law firm Gateley.