Management buyout puts senior managers in driving seat at major truck dealer

November 18, 2022

Mercedes-Benz dealer Rygor Group is looking ahead to a new growth phase after two of its senior managers took over the business in a management buyout.

The Westbury-based firm, which includes Rygor Commercials and newly launched Rygor MAXUS, has been bought by sales director John Keogh and head of truck sales Rish Channa. 

The business has developed in recent years, investing in extensive renovations of its sites across the country as well as a dedicated truck centre at Heathrow, which, opened in 2020, and a custom-designed Mercedes-Benz Truck and Van centre in Reading, pictured below, which is due to officially open next month.

The group has branches in Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, West London, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire offering extensive coverage for customers throughout the M5, M4 and M42 corridors.

No financial details of the buyout have been disclosed. In the year to April 30 the group increased pre-tax profits from £2.6m to £3.5m on turnover down from £265.1m to £218.5m.

John Keogh, who has become managing director, said “This is an extremely exciting time for us and the future of Rygor Group.

“We love the Rygor business and both Rish and I have been working within it for more than a decade.

“Being able to say that we are now joint owners of the company, is a really special moment for us.

“We have an award-winning team and our focus over the past few years has continued to centre on their progression, wellbeing and building a positive company culture.” 

Earlier this year the group was accredited as a ‘Great Place to Work’ in a national scheme that quizzes staff on their employer. That followed a raft of industry awards over the past 24 months, including Van Dealer of The Year 2021 and the Service Provider 2022 at the WhatVan? Awards.

John Keogh added: “We were thrilled to become Great Place to Work certified in 2022, as well as standing out for our employee engagement, as overall at the Institute of Internal Communications Awards. This continues to be a key objective for the Rygor business.

“Over the past year we have implemented a new appraisal process, an enhanced apprentice programme and an incredible wellbeing programme.

“It is our team members who make us strong and successful, and we are greatly looking forward to working with them as Rygor continues to lead the way.

“We will also be focusing on building a more sustainable and greener future for the business and working with brands on electric vehicles will be key to this.” 

Rish Channa, who is now commercial director, added: “It’s a big year for the Rygor business, and this investment demonstrates our commitment to continually investing in our facilities for the benefit of our customers and our incredible team.

“We know our team comes to work to feel valued and engaged and a fantastic working environment is a significant part of that.

“Our new Reading branch, which is conveniently located just a mile down the road from our existing Reading site, comprises nearly 44,000 sq ft of space.

“It will allow us to offer enhanced services to our customers in the area, and our brilliant team at our current site will be moving over to the new dealership, so our customers can rely on the exceptional service they know and depend on.

“We have an incredibly loyal customer base at Rygor, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in our new roles as owners of the business, as well as welcoming new customers to the Rygor business as well.”

The new owners will be joined on the board by group finance director Tim Smith, who was previously Rygor’s finance director, and aftersales director Sean Joyce, previously Rygor’s service director.

Both became directors at the beginning of last year having progressed through the business and, according to John and Rish, both have been integral to the company’s success over the past 18 months.

John also praised the group’s former owners, who have now resigned from the board.

“We have learnt a lot over the years from Tim Stacey, Paul Reed and Graham Drake, who have been incredible owners of the Rygor business,” he said.

“We feel privileged to take the reins from them and look forward to following in their footsteps as people who drive the company forward.”

Rygor’s former owner-directors were advised by Bath law firm RWK Goodman and accountancy group Deloitte UK. 

Pictured, top: The new Rygor board, from left: Sean Joyce, Tim Smith, John Keogh and Rish Channa




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