Jun 11, 2010

Risk Capital Partners backs fast growing accident repair business

Private equity firm Risk Capital Partners LLP (“RCP”) has taken a majority stake in DWS Bodyworks, (“DWS”) the dominant crash repairer in London.

DWS repairs passenger cars and light commercial vehicles for insurers from 15 bodyshops strategically located around the M25.  It services almost all the major UK insurance underwriters, and carries out roughly 50,000 vehicle repairs a year. RCP has partnered with Steve Field, the Chief Executive, to take control of the business from Dave Smithyes, who founded DWS 26 years ago and will remain as a Director and minority shareholder.

DWS operates in a highly fragmented market that generates £5 billion annually, and is supported by legislation.  The business enjoys economies of scale with highly efficient working practices and strong levels of customer service.

DWS has grown its revenues from £5m to £48m in recent years, and employs over 500 staff.  Headquartered in West Thurrock, Essex, its crash repairs conform to British Kite Mark standards.

Steve Field, CEO of DWS said: “I am delighted to partner with Risk Capital to expand DWS.  They worked to a very tight timetable and I look forward to working with them in the coming years to take advantage of the undoubted opportunities in our market.”

Luke Johnson, Founder of Risk Capital Partners, said:  “We are excited to be teaming up with Steve and his colleagues to build on their success in the vehicle repair market.  We want to continue organic growth at DWS and explore the possibility of add-on acquisitions.   We are delighted to have closed this deal within a matter of weeks from being awarded exclusivity.  It demonstrates that Risk Capital Partners is able to move swiftly where necessary to secure a transaction.”

Risk Capital Partners invested an undisclosed sum for a majority stake in DWS.  Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Acquisition Finance provided a modest level of senior debt facilities.  RSM Tenon advised the management team on the transaction.