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7 February 2020 | Firm News | Article by Gemma Davies

Hugh James advises on management buy out of automotive repair business iRG

The corporate team at Hugh James has advised the management team of Innovative Repair Group (iRG) on its purchase of the business from founder, Stephen Peart. A seven-figure funding package for the deal was provided by ThinCats, the leading alternative lender to mid-sized SMEs.

Based in Cardiff and with a geographical footprint across South Wales, Bristol and Hereford, iRG is the seventh largest independent network of accident repair centres for motor vehicles in the UK. Since 1999, their body shops have worked alongside some of the UK’s leading car manufacturers, insurers and accident management companies, carrying out repairs on all makes and models and light commercial vehicles.

Employing more than 270 team members across 11 sites, the funding has supported the future succession planning for the business and enabled the founder Stephen Peart to exit the business. The deal was led by the experienced Senior Management Team which includes Lee Wallbank (Managing Director), Daniel Lewis (Head of Finance), Phil Dawson (Head of Compliance and HR) and Joseph Moore (Head of Commercial) with advice from Lexington Corporate Finance.

Speaking about Hugh James’ role in the deal, Lee Wallbank, Managing Director at Innovative Repair Group said:

“I am extremely grateful to Gemma and the team at Hugh James for their support on what is a very important and exciting milestone for us as a management team. They worked seamlessly with us and Lexington Corporate Finance to guide us through a complicated process and it was reassuring to know they had such a wealth of experience of advising other management teams on similar transactions; this allowed us to focus on our role which was to put in place the foundations to take the business to the next level in the years ahead.”


Gemma Davies, solicitor in the corporate team at Hugh James advised the management team at iRG. She said:

“It was great to be involved in this deal and a pleasure to have been able to support the management team on this important phase of iRG’s development. The company has grown substantially from humble beginnings and now competes on a national scale, supporting major players in the insurance and automotive sector. This transaction will allow Lee and his team to take forward their ambitious growth plans and I look forward to seeing how the business develops in the years ahead.”


Thomas Edwards, Director at Lexington Corporate Finance, advised the management team on the commercial aspects of the management buy out. He said:

“We are delighted to have advised the Management Team on this transaction. iRG is an excellent business with a great customer base and strong reputation in the market place. We worked closely with the Management Team to refine its business plan and projections and structure a funding package that allowed them to facilitate the MBO whilst also allowing the business to continue along its current growth trajectory.”

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