MBO of Wheelwright

HMT LLP advised leading UK wheels and automotive aftermarket wholesaler, Wheelwright Ltd on their MBO supported by Arbuthnot Commercial ABL and Caple debt funding.

Originally established in 1980, Kent-based Wheelwright are the UK’s leading alloy and steel wheel distributors, offering a European-wide logistics and delivery service from their 14 national and 2 international logistics facilities.  With over 40 years’ experience in the alloy wheel and tyre business, Wheelwright have a well-established reputation as the leading supplier in the UK.

Formerly a subsidiary of the Alcar Group of companies, Wheelwright are ideally placed to offer an unrivalled standard of product, service, marketing support and after-sales support. With a market leading offering of internally developed brands in the aftermarket sector, including Europe’s leading space saver wheel, Road Hero, the company is at the early stages of a growth trajectory.

The MBO was led by David McMillan (Sales Director), Thierry Hooker (Operations Director) and incoming Finance Director Malcolm Thomson, the transaction was funded by a combination of debt products from Arbuthnot Commercial ABL and Caple which includes asset-based lending and term loans.

HMT, with their expertise of Mid-Market debt and equity funders were mandated as lead advisers to the management team in negotiating, funding and executing the acquisition of the business to enable them to deliver upon their ambitious growth plans as a new ownership team going forwards. HMT identified Arbuthnot Commercial ABL and Caple as the right combination of funders to support management in acquiring the business whilst retaining working capital facilities to enable them to exploit their market leading product range.

Thierry Hooker, Operations Director of Wheelwright commented:

“We engaged HMT to negotiate and deliver a funding profile for our MBO of the company, but also one that provides us with the capacity to deliver upon our immediate growth opportunities. Andrew and Ricky took the time to understand our business to provide invaluable support to ensure we could execute the MBO with the right funding partners whilst ensuring that we can deliver on our roadmap. We would not hesitate in recommending them to anybody seeking a strategic and hands-on adviser.”

HMT commented:

“Completing a transaction in the automotive sector during COVID-19 restrictions is a challenge, but the MBO of Wheelwright proves that good deals will still happen in the current climate when driven by industry leading management teams which can capitalise on a fragmented market. We were delighted to advise Dave, Thierry & Malcolm on this transaction and to put in place the right supportive funders in Arbuthnot and Caple to drive the business forwards. We look forward to working with management in the future as they develop their organic and inorganic growth strategy.”



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