Steer Automotive attracts European investor as Keyhaven exits

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Personal fairness agency Keyhaven Capital Companions has agreed to promote its fairness stake in unbiased collision restore group Steer Automotive to pan-European non-public fairness investor Oakley Capital.

The bodyshop group’s founder Richard Steer and the present administration crew will proceed to guide the enterprise and are reinvesting alongside Oakley. As a part of the transaction, Oakley will purchase the shares held by Keyhaven Capital Companions and Chiltern Capital.

Since Capital’s and Keyhaven’s investments in 2021, Steer accomplished 18 acquisitions to create a community of over 100 restore centres throughout the nation. The group has expanded from its core passenger automobile restore market into luxurious automobile restore, business automobile restore and technical companies.

Steer has additionally elevated its variety of producer accreditations to 43 together with manufacturers corresponding to Porsche, Rolls Royce, Bentley, McLaren, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, JLR, Tesla, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen Group, Stellantis and Ford.

Steer has invested considerably in its operational infrastructure and administration crew which has improved its operational effectivity, whereas additionally introducing information and analytics instruments to boost KPI monitoring.

In 2023, Steer was ranked inside the prime 40 in The Sunday Occasions’ record of 100 fastest-growing UK companies and recognised by The Unbiased as one of many prime 100 job creators within the nation.

Steer now represents roughly 5% of the UK collision restore market, using over 2,300 individuals and repairing greater than 115,000 automobiles a yr. The corporate additionally launched the Steer Academy to diversify recruitment channels, practice and upskill the subsequent technology of technicians.

Richard Steer, founder and chief government of Steer Automotive, mentioned: “Over current years now we have constructed Steer into the UK’s main automotive restore enterprise, with main investments within the expertise, know-how, and programs required to serve the automotive business because it undergoes large change. Each Chiltern and Keyhaven have been nice supporters of our enterprise and have been instrumental in delivering the expansion now we have achieved so far.

“We’re delighted to have now secured a partnership with Oakley Capital to gasoline the subsequent section of our progress. Oakley are an excellent match for our enterprise and complement our expertise, with a really robust monitor report serving to quick rising companies by way of each natural progress and M&A. We see potential to additional develop our share of the automotive restore market by constructing a singular sector-leading proposition that’s nicely positioned to fulfill the evolving wants of our purchasers, sustaining our robust concentrate on buyer care and repair high quality.”

The settlement was signed in December with closing anticipated to happen within the second quarter of 2024.

Peter Dubens, founder and managing associate, Oakley Capital, mentioned: “Our technique has all the time been to speculate behind distinctive founders with a transparent strategic imaginative and prescient. We’ve been impressed by Richard and his crew, and the best way they’ve constructed Steer to serve the altering wants of the UK automotive business. We sit up for working with the corporate as they ship on their formidable progress plans to scale Steer Group right into a key service supplier for this huge, dynamic market.”

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