Walker Morris delivers for Endless on FMG investment

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A multidisciplinary team of lawyers at Walker Morris has advised Endless on its investment in the management buyout of FMG – the specialist in incident management and roadside recovery, for an undisclosed value.

Andrew Cope, one of Yorkshire’s most successful entrepreneurs, led the management buyout. Andrew led Zenith, the vehicle leasing business, through five successful private equity buyouts between 2003 and 2014, before joining FMG in April 2014 as Executive Chairman.

FMG specialises in providing outsourced incident management services for a range of clients including insurance companies, corporates with large car fleets and vehicle leasing companies. In addition, FMG also provides specialist roadside recovery services for the Highways Agency along with a number of Police regions and local councils.  FMG has grown the fleet it manages by nearly 60% in the past two years, to approaching 250,000 vehicles.

The buyout sees Andrew increase his investment and shareholding in FMG, with John Catling, CEO, and the rest of the senior management team also increasing their shareholdings.  Founder, Nick Brown, remains a significant shareholder as well.  Institutional investor Spirit Capital has sold its stake which it acquired in 2008 and has been replaced by private equity house Endless LLP.

Debbie Jackson, Corporate partner at Walker Morris said:

“We recognise that for clients such as Endless, being able to work to tight timescales is crucial to their success. This transaction was no exception. Our ability to scale our capacity, driven by our collaborative approach and our multidisciplinary team culture, ensured we delivered on time.  The fast turnaround is also testament to the good working relationships and commitment of all the parties involved.  We’ve worked with Endless and Spirit over a number of years and having those relationships is a key factor in our ability to provide commercially focussed advice.”

Endless had a record year for new investments in 2014, which included the public to private acquisition of Office2Office plc, which was subsequently merged with Vasanta Group to create a combined business with turnover in excess of £600 million as the UK’s leading distributor of office products.

Andrew Cope commented:

“We are on the cusp of some very exciting developments at FMG and this is a great time to complete the buyout and accelerate the growth in the business.  We chose Endless to invest with us as they have a remarkable way of transacting, which is so much faster and more attune with what management teams want than anything I have experienced in the six buyout processes I have now been involved in.”

Darren Forshaw, Partner at Endless, commented:

“2014 was remarkable year for Endless and this momentum has continued into 2015.  Supporting Andrew, John and the team in the buyout of FMG is an important step for Endless and fits perfectly with our new, broader investment plans.”

The Endless deal team was led by Mathew Deering and Kerry Battiscombe, with support from Indra Harrison, Michael Rice and Adam Keasey. Walker Morris fielded a multidisciplinary team to advise Endless which was led by Debbie Jackson (Corporate) with wider support across the Firm.

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