ZYROFISHER acquires Royal Velo France (RVF) to accelerate expansion strategy
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ZYROFISHER, the leading cycling parts and accessories distributor in the UK and Ireland has acquired ROYAL VELO FRANCE a distributor of leading cycling parts and accessories in France from the Exxemm group.

ZYROFISHER, formed in 2016 through the combination of cycling parts and accessories distributors Zyro and Fisher Outdoor Leisure has headquarters in Darlington in the north of England and represents over 50 market leading brands including Giro, SRAM and Tacx as well as its proprietary clothing, luggage and accessories brand, Altura.

RVF, based in Troyes, is a key partner for leading brands such as Sidi, Giro, Bell, CamelBak and Tacx in the French market and has established a strong position in the distribution of cycling parts and accessories in France.

Exxemm is headquartered in Annecy, France and is active in the Bike, Outdoor, Winter, and Water sports categories through RVF and Sportpulsion.

Following investment in ZYROFISHER by UK private equity firms Palatine Private Equity and LDC in 2017, this acquisition allows ZYROFISHER to build on the significant experience of both businesses in their respective territories to accelerate the growth of the combined group.

Matthew Barker, CEO of ZYROFISHER, said: "This acquisition is the first step in ZYROFISHER’s strategy of utilising our substantial experience and market leading proposition to support growth in markets where we see huge potential. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Christophe Soenen and the RVF team to maximise RVF’s position in France."

Ed Fazakerley, Partner at Palatine Private Equity, said: "ZyroFisher has established itself as a leading provider of cycling equipment in the UK, and the acquisition of Royal Velo France will enable the company to build its footprint further in Europe."

Peter Hughes, president of Exxemm and former President of RVF said: "This acquisition will allow RVF to begin a new phase of its development by combining resources to benefit its customers and brand partners. I see a great fit between ZYROFISHER and RVF and wish the enlarged group the best of success for the future. Sportpulsion, which has always operated entirely independently of RVF will continue its own development in its current categories. "

TTC aims to make more Yorkshire roads safer after trio of contract wins
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TTC Group has secured a trio of contracts to deliver driver education courses across Yorkshire it has been announced today.

The company, which educates more than 350,000 motorists every year, will continue to run its suite of courses in North and South Yorkshire and, for the first time, will now take on responsibility for the West of the county.

This means that people across the area will have evening and weekend options and a generous number of venues to choose from when selecting possible locations to take their courses, which range from speed to motorway and driving awareness.

The RIDE course for motorcyclists who offend will also be run across North, South and West Yorkshire.

"We have been working in Yorkshire since 2007 and are genuinely delighted that our performance, the quality of our trainers and our ability to overcome barriers to clients benefiting from education have resulted in two contract extensions and a new area for us to look after," explained Sharon Haynes, Operations Director at TTC Group.

"All of the courses have been designed to educate motorists so they become safer drivers and reduce the number of casualties in the UK."

She continued: "In addition to the best and most engaging content, our job is to make the sessions accessible to everyone in the area, make the booking system as efficient as possible and then provide robust data for the Police forces we are supporting.

"We also try and go that little bit further by offering training to Police Officers so that they can clearly communicate to motorists what each course is for and how it will benefit them. This is something that West Yorkshire really liked about our approach."

TTC Group deliver courses in Wales, Scotland and England, including more recently Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Northamptonshire.

Running this size operation requires in excess of 400 trainers, who are vastly experienced in working with motorists to tackle issues such as speed, motorway and practical driving skills.

As a result of the West Yorkshire contract win, the company is looking to utilise a further 50 trainers.

Palatine achieves over 3x return and 90% IRR on Westleigh exit
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Palatine Private Equity has completed the successful sale of Westleigh to Countryside Properties Plc, achieving over a 3x return and 90% IRR within less than two years of making the original investment.

Westleigh is the largest independent housebuilder in the Midlands that focuses on the delivery of affordable homes to Registered Providers (RPs). Palatine originally invested in Westleigh in July 2016 and it was the private equity firm’s first investment from the Midlands office.

Founded in 1985, by husband and wife Chris and Judy Beighton, Westleigh has experienced significant growth since Palatine invested, increasing EBITDA from £9m in the financial year to 31 March 2016 to over £16m in the financial year to 31 March 2018. The company currently employs around 450 staff, builds over 1,100 properties per year and has successfully expanded geographically from the East Midlands into both the West Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Westleigh will now be supported by Countyside Properties Plc who are looking to increase their market share in the Midlands.

Palatine Managing Partner Gary Tipper, Investment Director Richard Thomas and Investment Manager James Painter transacted the original investment in 2016 and have since worked closely with the team to grow the business and expand its regional footprint.

Richard Thomas, Head of Midlands at Palatine Private Equity and former board director at Westleigh, said: "It’s been a pleasure working with the team at Westleigh and we wish them every success as they start a new chapter in Westleigh’s development. Westleigh has been a great example of private equity backing an excellent and ambitious management team, working together to not only grow the business quickly but also improve it on all fronts. We are confident that the business will continue to thrive under Countryside’s ownership"

Chris Beighton, Chairman at Westleigh, added: "Westleighs’ experience having Palatine as our investor partner has been nothing other than positive. Palatine have supported managements ambitious expansion plans for growth. While always remaining diligent, Palatine have allowed management to run the business and progress matters without clunky time consuming approval processes that would have removed the business’s ability to be reactive to opportunities which give it the edge over its competitors. I would on behalf of the board and the business like to thank Palatine for their support".

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