TTC Group has been sold by Palatine Private Equity to the company’s management team with investment from Pricoa Private Capital.
Almost two thirds (65%) of the risk management, compliance, and road safety training provider will become management and employee owned under the new funding arrangement with the remaining 35% held by Pricoa.
Jim Kirkwood, CEO of TTC Group, told Fleet News that part of the reason for parting ways with Palatine Private Equity and linking up with Pricoa Private Capital, the private capital business of Prudential Financial, was access to capital.
“Palatine has been a great supporter of the business over the past three-and-a-half years, but as the business was getting bigger, we wanted to do more, we wanted to put our foot on the accelerator,” he explained.
“If there’s a business that’s got access to funds and can provide capital to grow a business, it’s Pricoa.”
TTC wants to use the financial backing of Pricoa to become the UK’s leading risk management and training provider, while also growing its business into mainland Europe and beyond.
Key to its growth will be further acquisitions, having employed a ‘buy and build’ strategy over the past few years.
TTC bought Business Driver in May 2019, before acquiring Licence Bureau in March 2020, helping grow its corporate client base to more than 2,800 UK businesses. It also continues to deliver national speed awareness training courses on behalf of 14 police forces.
When Kirkwood last spoke to Fleet News after the Licence Bureau acquisition, he said the business was working on three potential acquisitions.
Having secured new investment from Pricoa, he said: “We’ve got a pipeline of opportunities that we’re keen to progress, not just around buy and build but around product extension and geographic reach.”
Kirkwood says that it will also continue to invest in its Continuum technology platform and new people as it gears up for growth.
Investment so far in its TTC Continuum technology platform has enabled it to integrate data on an agnostic basis from sources including telematics, connected cameras and other in-vehicle technology.
It now provides fleets with insight into risk and compliance management through real-time dashboards and enables companies to both assess risk and personalise any required training.
Providing a return on investment has for a long time been the holy grail for the industry - something TTC says that Continuum now provides to its customers.
Kirkwood says that one of the “driving forces” behind the deal is speed to market. He said: “Under Palatine we had a steady pace, but there was a degree of impatience within the board to push on further and bringing Pricoa to the table enables us to do that a lot quicker than we might have otherwise been able to do."
He added: “The partnership we have enjoyed with Palatine has been highly successful over the last four years. Together we have achieved a huge amount including investing significantly in digital technology and recruiting a talented and ambitious management team.”
But he said: “We see significant opportunities to scale TTC into new markets and are delighted that Pricoa Private Capital shares this vision.
“We look forward to taking the business to the next stage with them as our new investment partner with a focus on growth, capital, and people.”
Palatine was advised by a team from investment bank GCA Altium and law firm Gateley. Akin Gump acted as counsel to Pricoa, while the TTC management team was advised by Liberty Corporate Finance and law firm Osborne Clarke.
Santander is providing TTC with a Revolving Credit Facility to support its strategic growth plan.
Ed Barker, senior vice president and head of Pricoa’s Midlands business, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the team at TTC.
“TTC, in conjunction with its stakeholders, significantly enhances road safety and offers a compelling return on investment proposition to corporates fleets of all sizes.
“Through our initial funding and the business’ ongoing investment in technology, breadth of services, and the customer journey, we hope to further strengthen those aims. We are excited to support Jim and his team in executing our shared vision."
Pricoa Private Capital is one of the largest private debt providers globally. In the UK, it has a history of partnering with businesses and management teams, with more than 125 borrowers across a wide range of sectors.