£11m accident repair firm takeover puts Bath’s Redde Northgate on road to more growth

September 4, 2020

Redde Northgate, the vehicle services group formed earlier this year from the merger of Bath-based specialist accident management group Redde and van hire company Northgate, today snapped up most of accident repair services firm Nationwide from its administrators for £11m.

Under the deal Redde Northgate will acquire 77 of Nationwide’s 102 bodyshop sites along with a fleet of vehicles. Some 2,300 of Nationwide’s staff will transfer to Redde Northgate. 

Nationwide, the UK’s largest wholly owned repair network and the largest independent accident repair company in Europe, will now enter administration.

Just over 500 workers at the Witney, Oxfordshire-based group not included in the takeover will be made redundant.

Redde Northgate said adding Nationwide to its seven-strong group of businesses – which include Bath-based accident services firm Auxillis – was expected to boost its earnings in its first full year of ownership.

Redde Northgate CEO Martin Ward said at the time of February’s Redde Northgate merger, the new group had set out its vision to become the leading integrated mobility solutions provider.

“This acquisition, our first post-merger, is in line with that vision and significantly increases our strategic and operational capability to support a wider number of business partners requiring automotive repairs,” he said.

“We expect this acquisition will open up new markets to the group, and in combination with an established pipeline of repair work from existing group companies, such as [outsourced fleet management group] FMG, it is well placed to maximise future opportunities.”

Redde Northgate is paying an initial cash sum of up to £11m from its existing facilities for Nationwide with up to £5m deferred on condition of retention of certain trade business.

The group said the deal further reinforced the strength of its proposition, extending its existing capabilities in service, maintenance and repair services. While it did not have in-house capability for repairs, it had long considered building capability in the UK as it already successfully runs repair centres in Spain.

The company said: “This transaction offers the group the opportunity to deliver on that goal quickly, with a strong team, well-located sites and an existing flow of business, utilising surplus repair capacity with its own volumes.”

The group, which is quoted on the London Stock Exchange, accompanied the acquisition announcement with an upbeat trading announcement.

It said there had been “sequential monthly improvements in trading” since Covid-19 restrictions had eased, with the level of support packages provided to customers reducing to a minimal level.

At the same time vehicles hires had increased, accident and incident volumes had started to rise as traffic volumes picked up, and vehicle disposal channels had re-opened, with recent significant improvement in residual values compared to the previous year. 

Redde Northgate was formed in February following the merger of Bath-based Redde, which provided incident and accident management, legal and other mobility-related services, with Darlington-based light commercial hire business Northgate.

The merged group provides mobility and automotive services to a wide range of businesses and customers spanning the vehicle life cycle across vehicle supply, service, maintenance, repair, recovery, accident and incident management and disposal through sale or salvage.

It has an extensive network and diversified fleet of more than 110,000 owned vehicles and 400,000-plus managed vehicles in more than 100 branches across the UK, Ireland and Spain.

Redde – known until 2014 as Helphire – acquired Huddersfield-headquartered FMG in 2015 to broaden its accident and fleet management capabilities and allow it to enter additional industry sectors. The Redde Northgate also includes Cardiff-based NewLaw group, which specialises in road traffic personal injuries and consumer-related services such as wills and probate and provides medical reports, costs drafting and employment law advice. 


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