A south Wales venture which is the official global supplier of spare parts and accessories for Land Rover has been acquired in a multi-million-pound institutional buy-in. The deal, which is believed to be worth eight figures, has provided an exit for the Torosyan family, which founded Bedwas-based Bearmach in 1958.
The company has revenues in excess of £30m and is the largest supplier of spares to the aftermarket for Land Rover parts globally- exporting to more than 100 countries.
The institutional buy-in has been led by Hotbed, the UK's largest private investor network, which has invested £5.1m.
The other backers are Grove Industries and Barclays Bank.
The investment is structured as a combination of equity and secured loans, to provide investors with a running interest yield.
Bearmach, which was crowned Western Mail Welsh Exporter of the Year in 2005, also has a portfolio of five retail outlets and a network of distributors in the UK, and supplies parts to the Ministry of Defence.
Throughout the various changes of ownership that Land Rover has endured, Bearmach has kept Land Rovers running around the world.
It was able to supply parts to those areas inaccessible or neglected by the factory. Even long after the factory lost interest in the older vehicles, Bearmach is still keeping vehicles in operation which would otherwise have been condemned to the scrapyard.
Bearmach is not simply a supplier of parts, it has been innovative in changing manufacturing processes and in the use of superior materials to enhance the performance and longevity of the vehicles.
Darren Mitchell, who led the deal for Hotbed said, 'Bearmach's success is due to several factors: its range of stock and its innovative and flexible approach to developing products to meet specific customer requirements, coupled with its expertise and extensive reach which enable it to provide excellent service to customers around the world.
'Market dynamics, such as the continued growth of Land Rover and the potential for developing new export markets, suggest there are a number of avenues for Bearmach to accelerate growth and consolidate its position in the market. We are delighted to be involved in this deal.'
The private owners of Bearmach were advised on the sale by Frank Holmes and Andrew Charter of Cardiff-based corporate finance venture Gambit, which sourced the purchaser and negotiated the consideration and deal structure, with legal advice provided by Alan Whiteley of M&A Solicitors (also based in Cardiff).
Mr Charter said, 'This was an interesting choice of suitors for the Bearmach shareholders and demonstrates the competitive edge and appetite institutional purchasers are displaying while pitching against traditional corporate trade buyers.'
The new owners of Bearmach are committed to maintaining its headquarters in South Wales, with a view to driving revenues.