Firstline, the Bicester-based automotive component distributor, has undergone a secondary buyout from Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity with Birmingham's Enterprise Finance Europe providing invoice discounting, stock and trade finance facilities to support the deal.
Firstline supplies the vehicle aftermarket with an extensive range of chassis, engine and braking components. Key customers include independent motor factors and warehouse distributors. Over 20 years old, Firstline employs 90 and has a turnover of £12 million.
The current directors sold the business in 1997 to the Finelist Group. While Firstline continued to perform well, difficulties in other parts of the group led to its failure in
Firstline was bought back from the receivers with the backing of Birmingham-based Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity in December 2000.
The funding by EFE enabled the directors to complete the secondary buyout from AMJPE and take control of the business again.
Peter Joyner, managing director of Firstline, said: "It's a great feeling to be truly independent again."
Enterprise Finance Europe director Ian Bath, who led the deal, said: "We are delighted to have supported Peter and his team. Despite difficult trading conditions which have seen a number of their competitors fail, Firstline has become a leading niche player in the market."
Stephen Bottley and Natalie Town of DLA Piper in Birmingham advised EFE with Gary Ecob of Kroll Corporate Finance advising the management team.