Dealmakers work on caravan parts wholesaler deal

Dealmakers work on caravan parts wholesaler deal

Dealmakers from the Midlands have worked on the acquisition of a wholesale distributor of parts and components for the caravan and motorhome industry.

Derbyshire-based MRDB, which has sales in excess of £23m, has been supplying OEM manufacturers, converters and retailers of motorhomes and caravans for more than 40 years through its wholly-owned subsidiaries Miriad Products Ltd and Liberty Leisure Ltd.

The business has been acquired in a buy-in-management-buy-out (BIMBO) under which the existing management team has been expanded to bring in additional shareholder-directors with specific commercial expertise.

It has built an unparalleled reputation for quality and service, its vast product range creating a unique "one-stop-shop" offer to its business customers.

The pre-deal management team included Michael Ham, Richard Toon and Dave Elson, three school friends, who joined the business (then known as Russell Sales) in 1987 and progressed to completing a management buyout (MBO) in 1999.

Shortly afterwards, they changed the company’s name to Miriad Products Ltd – a name inspired by the first two letters of each of their Christian names, and indicative of their intention to supply a 'myriad' of products to the caravan and motorhome industry. In addition Brian Croshaw, another long-standing member of the team, was invited to become the fourth shareholder-director, the expanded shareholders’ names giving rise to "MRDB".

The team's decision to undertake a BIMBO was borne of their plan to ensure continued rapid growth by supplementing their extensive industry experience with the broader commercial knowledge and expertise of a new Chairman, an experienced Non-executive Director, and an international funding partner.

With advice provided by Smith Cooper Corporate Finance, which project-managed the transaction process, a search for partners resulted in Keith Fleming and Steve Thornhill joining the board, and Duke Royalty becoming funders in the BIMBO.

The incoming chairman, Keith Fleming, brings a wealth of experience in strategic and operational leadership from previous roles in organisations such as Blacks Leisure Group, Kingfisher Plc (B&Q), Scottish & Newcastle, and Woolworths Plc.

Steve Thornhill joins the MRDB board as non-executive director. An entrepreneurial accountant with more than 25 years’ experience, he has held a variety of finance director and managing director positions.

Duke Royalty provided a debt and equity financing package for the BIMBO transaction, with NatWest Bank and RBS Invoice Finance providing additional facilities.

Smith Cooper Corporate Finance, a division of advisory and accountancy firm Smith Cooper, acted as lead deal advisers to the existing shareholders; the corporate finance team comprised John Farnsworth and David Crump, while Richard Stanley from the firm’s specialist tax division advised on tax aspects of the transaction.

"We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the founding shareholders in securing the continued success of this truly unique business; it leads the field in this expanding, friendly segment of the leisure market," said John Farnsworth.

A team comprising Martyn Brierley, Rachel Bennett and William Bowler from the corporate and finance team of legal firm Flint Bishop provided legal advice to the existing shareholders.

Higgs & Sons, Charles Russell Speechlys and Pinsent Masons LLP provided legal advice to the incoming shareholder-directors, Duke and RBS/NatWest, respectively. Intelligent Corporate Finance advised the incoming shareholder-directors and Duke Royalty on financial matters, with tax advice being provided by Claritas.