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Car parts manufacturer DPE Automotive set to further boost growth

Newton Aycliffe based DPE Automotive has been acquired by global supply chain specialist Arlington Industries. The sale comes a little over a year after DPE Automotive was acquired by its management team in a deal driven by lead investor Andrew Lapping and entrepreneur Rudi Wright.

The MBO in May 2014 helped to preserve around 100 jobs at the company and enabled DPE Automotive to strengthen its position in the industry, adding to a client list which includes Nissan, Gestamp, Magna, RTEK, DS Smith and Johnson Controls and leading to the successful sale to Arlington Industries.

Andrew Lapping, Lead Investor and Chairman of DPE Automotive and also Partner at Hamilton Capital, said: “DPE Automotive has proved to be a superb investment and is a great example of the strength and excellence of the North East’s manufacturing and automotive supply sector. When I made the initial investment, I had great confidence in the ability and aptitude of Peter and his team at DPE Automotive to grow the business and that confidence has certainly been repaid.”

Rudi Wright, investor and director of DPE Automotive said: “I am delighted with the performance of the company to date, the fact that 100 jobs were safeguarded due to the initial investment and to have been involved, however briefly, with a great North East success story”.

Peter Coates, managing director at DPE Automotive, said: “Having successfully completed a smooth management buy-out with the help of Square One Law last year, there has been a real transformation in the business. Investment has enabled us to quickly expand capacity at the factory and to stabilise and grow the company. Arlington Industries is a major player within the supply chain in both the automotive and aerospace sectors, so DPE Automotive has a very promising future ahead of it”.

Arlington Industries, a Coventry headquartered supplier of components to the automotive and aerospace industries is one of the largest automotive component assembly companies in the UK.

Mark Frankel, CEO of Arlington said “Arlington Industries’ commitment to supply chain integration and workplace equality is something we’re rightly proud of. We have responded to the strategies of our customers in automotive and aerospace and will continue to look at ways we can drive greater efficiency. The acquisition of DPE Automotive will not only enhance growth, but also assist in the diversification of our customer base.”

Senior associate Marie-Louise Bozonet led the Square One Law team that advised DPE Automotive on the MBO and sale of the business. She commented: “It was a pleasure to work with the DPE team and Rivers Capital Partners again. It is a fantastic return and testament to the DPE team to have completed a management buy-out and then a successful sale in just over 12 months and we are delighted to have supported the team along the way. Arlington is a great fit for the business and will help DPE to expand as part of a larger group. ”

Dr Michael Dickens, fund manager at Rivers Capital Partners, which manages the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund, the fund that invested in DPE last year said: “We are delighted at the successful sale of DPE Automotive, which has brought up a major milestone for the Fund. Not only was DPE the Fund’s 100th investment but this is the Fund’s first major exit to date and has resulted in a substantial return on the original investment. “

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