ABN Amro Capital backs £13.2m MBO of Ferraris

The deal may be a turning point for the UK automotive parts maker which has been in receivership since its former parent, Finelist, collapsed last year.

ABN Amro Capital, the private equity arm of one of Europe's largest banks, has backed the £13.2m (E21.3m) management buy-out of Ferraris Piston Service, a distributor of branded automotive parts.

Patrick Bulmer, a director of ABN Amro Capital, said: “Ferraris Piston Service is a quality business with a great reputation. This has been a difficult deal to put together but in taking it out of receivership we have rescued a business with an important market niche and saved around 600 jobs throughout the UK. We look forward to entering a new era with the company, with a focus on developing greater supplier support and closer customer partnerships.” The company has been in administrative receivership since last year, following the collapse of its parent company Finelist Plc.

Ferraris supplies branded motor vehicle components such as Delphi, Lucas TRW and Federal Mogul, throughout the UK. The company has nineteen branch locations and a fleet of 280 delivery vehicles.

Terry Wainwright, managing director of Ferraris Piston Service, said: “We exit administrative receivership with Ferraris Piston Service remaining, without question, the largest most progressive and most successful automotive parts wholesale distributor. This is testament to the quality and loyalty of our employees together with the long-standing relationships built with our customers and suppliers alike. After all, we have been serving the market for 66 years.”

Ferraris will be owned by funds managed by ABN Amro Capital and management. Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance provided £8m of debt facilities and the fifth ABN Amro fund has invested £5m. KPMG Transactions Services and Ernst & Young Taxation advised ABN Amro Capital and Ferraris' management.

Finelist, the UK distributor of car parts, was acquired by CDC Equity Capital, Butler Capital Partners and Axa Asset Management Private Equity in 1999 in a highly leveraged public-to-private transaction. At the time, the trio paid a 42 per cent premium over Finelist’s share price. The three private equity investors invested £67m in the highly leveraged buy-out, whilst a syndicate of eight banks supplied total senior debt facilities worth $538m under the stewardship of Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas. When Finelist called in the receivers in October last year, the investor consortium was looking at multi million pound losses.