The Business Growth Fund (BGF) has invested £7.5m in flexible van hire brand Reflex to support the continued expansion of its fleet of light-commercial vehicles and fleet cars, the parties have announced.
From its base in Loughborough in the East Midlands, Reflex provides its corporate customers with national, round the clock services. Reflex also offers a range of duty of care products, marketed under the ‘Flexi’ brand, including tracking systems, cameras and driver safety products. The company currently has 3,500 vehicles in its fleet and aims to grow this to 10,000 over the next five years.
Reflex was acquired in 2012 by the Waring Family and is led by Executive Chairman Oliver Waring who, with Managing Director Charles Hart, has managed the business through a period of significant growth. Both Waring and Hart have many years of experience in the light commercial vehicle sector having been key people in the building of Northgate plc to become market leader in the flexible rental sector.
Stewart Oades has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director and joins existing Non-Executive Director Tony Trahar, former CEO of Anglo American plc. Oades brings extensive experience in logistics and fleet management having served on the main board of Exel and as former group chief executive of Christian Salvesen. Ian Downing, an investor at BGF, will also join the Board as part of the investment.
Oliver Waring, executive Chairman of Reflex, said: “Over the last 12 months we have increased the size of our fleet by close to 1,000 vehicles. As we look to pursue further growth, we wanted to find a long-term, stable and supportive partner that could bring an extensive network of experience and external discipline to bear on the business. BGF’s approach to investing is the right fit for the business and we are delighted to bring them on board.”
Ian Downing of BGF added: “Reflex is an exceptionally well-run business operated by an ambitious management team with extensive experience in the sector. They have a clear and well defined plan for achieving growth.
“We are completely aligned to the long term goals of the business, which we share with Oliver Waring and the shareholders. We are excited to see the expansion of the fleet and the growth of the business in the coming years.”
The investment was led for BGF by Ian Downing, Paul Brindley and Joanne Smith.
The advisers to the transaction were:
Legal – Tom Boulton-Jones (Brodies)
FDD – Graham Elsworth, Vinny Patel, Alex Nichol (BDO)
Legal – Mark Hughes, Christina O’Brien (Browne Jacobson)