Accident management firm FMG has been bought by rival Redde for £43.2m.
Redde, owners of Helphire and Total Accident Management, acquired the firm following a management buyout in April led by Andrew Cope, formerly of Zenith.
FMG currently manages around 250,000 vehicles, but told Fleet News in April its aim is to take that to some 400,000 units within the next three-to-five years.
A statement from Redde said that, following the acquisition, the new owner "hopes to be able to widen its appeal to the owners and managers of large vehicle fleets requiring accident management and legal services as part of a long-term customer development plan."
FMG said it "was strongly attracted to the deal on a number of fronts; not least Redde plc’s ability to invest for the long term, further enhance the overall product and service offering to its customers and support FMG’s market leading multi-product digital platform development."
The FMG management team have invested a significant proportion of their equity into Redde plc shares, as part of that wider investment into the group’s future strategy and the ongoing development of its vehicle claims and support service solutions. All FMG’s existing management team including John Catling, managing director of commercial, Mark Chessman, managing director of operations and Rachael Nevins CFO, will continue as FMG’s business leadership team.
Martin Ward, chief executive of Redde, said: “The addition of FMG to the Redde group supports our strategic objective of growing earnings on a sustainable basis and broadening the scope of services we offer which are related to our core businesses. FMG is a quality business and has a strong reputation in its fields of business for serving its customers well.
"We have worked together in the legal services arena for a number of years and this acquisition is a further step in strengthening Redde's proposition to its customers as we build on our recent successes."
Andrew Cope, executive chairman of FMG, said: "This is a truly exciting day in the long history of FMG.
"We strongly believe that marrying FMG’s people, knowledge and innovative capacity to Redde's long term investment and commitment to the vehicle claims industry will result in an outstanding service and technical proposition for our customers today, tomorrow and well into the future."
Matthew Deering, partner at Endless, the venture capital firm which supported Cope's buy-out in April, said: “We did not expect to be engaging with strategic buyers of FMG for quite some time yet, but we could not ignore the approach of the Redde board or the recommendation of the management shareholders to accept the offer."
"At the same time, this delivers a strong return to our investors. While we regret we will not get to work with the FMG team for longer, we know they are going to an excellent home and wish FMG and Redde every success in future as a combined business.”
The deal is subject to regulatory approval.