110 jobs saved after multimillion-pound rescue deal

A deal to secure a multi-million-pound acquisition and working capital funding package for Evtec Automotive from BREAL Zeta Commercial Finance has been struck, saving 110 jobs and creating 50 new ones.

The package will support new owner David Roberts, industrialist and former group chairman of Arlington Industries until 2014, as he acquires the business. As part of its growth strategy, Evtec Automotive will seek to drive turnover from £55m to £70m over the next three years.

Headquartered in Coventry, Evtec Automotive – which was formerly known as Arlington Engineered Systems and part of the Arlington Automotive group (in administration) – specialises in manual assembly for the automotive sector. This includes providing electrical, fluid and air, mechanical and aftermarket module assemblies.

Roberts has established Evtec Automotive as a newco to acquire Arlington Engineered Systems out of administration and plans to restart operations in a move that will save up to 110 jobs and create a further 50 jobs.

The deal will see Roberts take on the role of chairman and maintain the firm’s presence in Coventry. The business will continue its work with clients such as Jaguar Land Rover and Ford as they restart production following the coronavirus pandemic, and Roberts plans to return the business to its Remploy heritage and provide employment opportunities for disabled people across the West Midlands.

He said: “Arlington Engineered Systems was a strong business, but the immediate result of the coronavirus pandemic impacted the firm in a way no one could have predicted. Now that production across the automotive sector has kicked back into gear, I believe there is still a strong future for the firm and with the right leadership and financial support I’m confident that we can drive future growth. My immediate focus is to support the team and established customer relationships, and I will then be looking to refocus the business by taking it back to its roots – which includes providing more employment opportunities for disabled people across the region.”

The deal was led by the debt advisory team at FRP in Manchester, with financial due diligence support also provided by the corporate finance team.

Andy Pickford, director at FRP in Manchester, said: “Not only is David an industrialist with a strong background in the automotive sector, he knows the business extremely well given his former role with Arlington Industries and is well-placed to drive forward the growth of the business. He plans to build on the company’s heritage and bring the business’ core values back to the fore. BREAL Zeta proved to be a flexible and forward-thinking lender, and we’re thrilled to have secured a sizeable structured facility from the team that gives David the financial backing he needs to kickstart his growth plans, and their support is a sign of confidence in David and his team.

“We’re seeing an increase in carve-out M&A transactions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and expect this deal type to remain a core feature of the market over the months ahead.”

Annabel Todd, business development director at BREAL Zeta Commercial Finance, added: “Under David’s leadership, we’re confident that Evtec Automotive has a strong future and it’s been a pleasure to provide the financial package that will not only support employment opportunities for people across the West Midlands but create a business that is truly focused on making a difference to its local community.”

BREAL Zeta Commercial Finance was advised by Gateley (legal) and David Roberts was advised by Thrings (legal).

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