Shoosmiths helps leading automotive innovator step up a gear with MBO

Shoosmiths helps leading automotive innovator step up a gear with MBO

Published:

Author: Kara Shadbolt

A TEAM led by Manchester-based corporate partner Tim Jackson-Smith has advised on a major private equity investment deal at one of the UK's leading automotive technology firms.

Working against a tight deadline, the Shoosmiths team supported the shareholders of Xtrac, a world leader in the design and manufacturer of high performance transmissions for the motorsport and automotive industry, in the buyout deal with Inflexion Private Equity.

Xtrac, based in Thatcham, Berkshire, supplies most of the world's top motorsport teams, from MotoGP to Formula 1. More than 80% of its revenue is generated through exports, particularly for high performance automotive applications including hybrids and electric vehicles.

Inflexion's investment supports Xtrac's well-established management team, who are remaining to drive growth at the business. The investment will also help fuel Xtrac's future expansion, supporting its rapidly-growing high performance road car division and increasing its team of 330 in the UK and US.

Shoosmiths' Tim Jackson-Smith said: "It was a privilege to be acting on such a significant deal for one of the undoubted stars of UK manufacturing. I am sure that with the support of Inflexion Xtrac will continue to lead the way in technical innovation and commercial success.

"Xtrac's ethos of employee ownership - with almost every member of staff an employee shareholder - meant that we had to structure the investment offer more like it was a public company, not a private business, and we completed the deal in around six weeks."

Stephen Lane, finance director at Xtrac said: "The Shoosmiths' team was able to offer practical, commercial solutions to a number of complex legal issues and helped to drive the transaction to completion in a very tight timescale.

"They were a key part of our team and I look forward to working with them again as Xtrac continues to grow its business."

John Harper, partner at Inflexion said: "We are delighted to be backing this highly-experienced management team with serious ambition. Xtrac is a truly exciting business, leading its market with superior design capabilities and a blue chip global client base.