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Square One Law Supports DPE Automotive in Management Buyout

Commercial law firm, Square One Law recently supported a key supplier into the automotive sector, DPE Automotive Limited, on a successful management buy-out from its parent company United Steels Limited.

Working to a shared vision – investors Andrew Lapping, Rudi Wright and Rivers Capital Partners Limited have been able to back the project and support the Newton Aycliffe based business. This has created an independent ownership and allowed the business to regain its potential to become a leader within the automotive sector.

With clients such as Nissan, Gestamp, Magna, RTEK, DS Smith and Johnson Controls, DPE Automotive has successfully maintained its long standing relationship with key players within the automotive industry the width and breadth of the UK.

Managing director and joint owner, Peter Coates highlighted his delight with the deal, and reiterated his passion to lead his team into future success “Our goal was to initially secure a solid purchase from United Steels with the support from the investment team, once this had taken place, we secured the working capital needed to keep up with the production cycles associated with the automotive sector.”

Peter went on to say “I am pleased to be retaining a great workforce within DPE Automotive Limited, which we hope will go from strength to strength with our target to reach all major OEMs within the UK automotive sector.”

With 50 percent of DPE Automotive’s current work being supplied into customers who service the automotive industry, Peter’s strategy is not only to increase turnover, but also increase direct supply into major car manufacturers. Having just recently completed the second phase of fundraising, the business has already achieved some significant targets Peter explains:

“Having successfully completed a smooth management buy-out with the help of Square One Law, we are now in the position where we are financially strong and have seen our offering change within a few short months. We now have a strong financial footing within the automotive sector, which is seen as favourable with the big players within the industry. Having already had talks directly with two of the UK’s leading manufacturers since the buy out, we can see there are great things ahead.”

Talking about the investment team, Peter also commented about the additional strength he has gained through working with private equity investors Andrew Lapping and Rudi Wright, not to mention the independent venture capital firm – Rivers Capital.

“The team which has been formed has years of dedicated experience behind them, with their own individual success – meaning I now have the additional support behind me to be able to carry out structured and measured projects within the business – drawing from their experience, I aim to be able to deliver company targets year on year, giving DPE Automotive the chance to become a bigger animal within the industry.”

Rivers Capital fund manager, Michael Dickens added “This investment has been great for the region, safe guarding jobs and creating the perfect example within automotive excellence. It’s in a great location and represents great news for people within County Durham.”

Senior associate Marie-Louise Bozonet led the Square One Law team that advised on the buy-out and fundraising. She commented “It was a pleasure to work with Peter, Andrew, Rudi and Rivers Capital on the deal. The DPE Automotive team has great plans for the business and I hope this will be a success story for manufacturing and engineering in the North East.

This is a sector that they expect to see significant growth and investment in over the next few years and I wish them all the best with their endeavours.”

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