Q&A: £43m FMG sale
What’s the background to the deal?
Last month saw FMG, a leading Yorkshire-based incident and claims management specialist, announce that it had been acquired by Redde plc, which owns Helphire and Total Accident Management, for £43.2m.
The move follows FMG’s management buyout earlier this year led by former executive chairman Andrew Cope, and sees the FMG management team invest a significant proportion of their equity into Redde plc shares, as part of that wider investment into the group’s future strategy and the ongoing development of its vehicle claims and support service solutions.
The deal also sees venture capital firm Endless, which supported Cope’s buyout in April, exit after just four months, with partner Matthew Deering saying that they could not ignore the approach of the Redde board or the recommendation of the management shareholders to accept the offer. He added that the deal had delivered strong returns for its investors.
What’s the rationale for the deal?
In a statement, Redde said its existing businesses currently focus on accident management, legal services and the supply and administration of general insurance products, adding: “The purchase of the FMG Group will broaden Redde’s accident and fleet management capabilities and allow it to enter additional industry sectors. Redde will also be able to widen its appeal to the owners and managers of large vehicle fleets requiring accident management and legal services as part of a long-term customer development plan.”
FMG added that it was “strongly attracted to the deal on a number of fronts; not least Redde plc’s ability to invest for the long term, further enhance the overall product and service offering to its customers and support FMG’s market-leading multi-product digital platform development”.
Will there be any senior management changes?
Andrew Cope will continue as a non-executive director, advising on strategy, supporting the management and developing the business. All FMG’s existing management team including John Catling, managing director of commercial, Mark Chessman, managing director of operations, and Rachael Nevins, CFO, will continue as FMG’s business leadership team.
What are the implications of the deal?
Martin Ward, chief executive of Redde, said: “The addition of FMG to the Redde group supports our strategic objective of growing earnings on a sustainable basis and broadening the scope of services we offer which are related to our core businesses. FMG is a quality business and has a strong reputation in its fields of business for serving its customers well. We have worked together in the legal services arena for a number of years and this acquisition is a further step in strengthening Redde's proposition to its customers as we build on our recent successes.”
What will the deal mean for customers?
FMG said the acquisition will see “increased Group resources combining with FMG’s continued innovation and reputation for quality of service; to deliver a solid platform to further develop our end-to-end claims management and specialist vehicle recovery services in the UK.”
Andrew Cope added: “This is a truly exciting day in the long history of FMG. We strongly believe that marrying FMG’s people, knowledge and innovative capacity to Redde plc’s long-term investment and commitment to the vehicle claims market, will result in an outstanding service and technical proposition for our customers today, tomorrow and well into the future."
The deal is now awaiting final regulatory approval before completion.