Andrew Cope leads buyout at FMG
Cope, executive chairman at FMG, previously led vehicle leasing business Zenith through five successful private equity buyouts between 2003 and 2014, before investing an undisclosed amount in FMG in April 2014 and joining the board.
The MBO sees Andrew increase his investment and shareholding in FMG, with John Catling, CEO, and the rest of the senior management team also increasing their shareholdings. Founder Nick Brown remains a significant shareholder as well. Institutional investor Spirit Capital has sold its stake, which it acquired in 2008, and has been replaced by private equity house Endless LLP.
Andrew Cope commented: “We are on the cusp of some very exciting developments at FMG and this is a great time to complete the buyout and accelerate the growth in the business. We believe we can shake up the industry and that’s what we intend to do, delivering great service for our clients. We were very lucky as we had a lot of investors keen to support our plan, for which we are very grateful. We chose Endless to invest with us as they have a remarkable way of transacting, which is so much faster and more attune with what management teams want than anything I have experienced in the six buyout processes I have now been involved in.”
In December last year, Endless announced it had raised a new fund of £525m to invest in buyouts, non-core acquisitions from larger groups and refinancings. The fund is supported by a range of global investors, including some of the best known universities and the family offices of some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.
Darren Forshaw, Partner at Endless, commented: “2014 was remarkable year for Endless and this momentum has continued into 2015. Supporting Andrew, John and the team in the buyout of FMG is an important step for Endless and fits perfectly with our new, broader investment plans. It is an exciting business in a growing and changing market, which we believe will provide great opportunities for the team at FMG to show its strengths. Our pipeline for new opportunities has never been better and we are expecting to make further announcements in the short term.”