Smith & Williamson advises on MBO at accident repair group

Mobeus has invested £9.5m to support the Management Buy Out of ABL 1Touch, a tech-enabled automotive accident repair group.

Marcus Graham and Claire Eggels of Smith & Williamson provided financial due diligence on the deal, which sees Mobeus backing the incumbent ABL 1Touch management team, who have built the group to a 13-site network across southern England. The team will be supported by experienced industry figure Bill Duffy, previously of Nationwide Autocentres, who has joined the board as non-executive chair.

The business, based in Reigate, is known for its technical innovation, low-cost and environmentally-friendly “repair over replace” methodology and its market-leading levels of customer satisfaction. ABL 1Touch has doubled its turnover during the last three years and, following the buyout, will continue to expand its regional footprint supported by Mobeus, with the intention to almost double the number of operating sites during the investment term.

The transaction was originated and led by Freddie Bacon at Mobeus, who worked on the deal with partner, Richard Babington, and Matthew Gordon-Smith.

Freddie Bacon said: “Our investment will enable ABL 1Touch’s ambitious management team to take the business to the next stage of its growth trajectory. Jonathan, Graham and Duncan have impressive forward-thinking plans and we are delighted to be backing such a leading service provider in the industry.”

Marcus Graham, head of Smith & Williamson’s transaction services team in Bristol, said: “Smith & Williamson continues to grow its reputation as a leading provider of financial due diligence to the private equity, banking and corporate communities. We are delighted to have advised and assisted Mobeus in getting this deal over the line.”

Freddie Bacon added: “Smith & Williamson’s work was a key component in our due diligence process – Marcus and Claire worked with great tenacity to provide the Mobeus team with astute analysis and actionable recommendations.”