24 September 2015
Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG) has advised Stan West and the senior management of GSF Car Parts, the UK's largest independent distributor of car parts, on its sale to HgCapital's The Parts Alliance.
Birmingham-headquartered GSF was established 38 years ago by Chairman Stan West.
Andy Lawton Smith, Head of Enterprise Services at WLG, has worked with Stan and his team since acting on the sale of a Midlands' car parts' business to GSF in 2000.
Stan West said: "As a longstanding client of WLG, we have worked with Andy and his colleagues regularly over the years, making them the natural choice to handle the legal side of our recent transaction; right from the early discussions through to its successful conclusion.
"Andy's implicit capacity to blend professional skills and experience with personal empathy meant that he was able guide me, my family and our other shareholders through not only some of the more thorny intricacies of the deal, but also the more personal elements. WLG delivered a capable team to support Andy's leadership of the process, all of whom were personable and very capable."
Andy said: "GSF is a leading National brand in the motor factor industry. Its consistent growth over the last four decades - to become a truly national, 75 site concern - is testament to the drive and entrepreneurship of Stan and his team. Stan is one of the most focused, relentless, effective and charming entrepreneurs we've ever had the good fortune to work with!
"In The Parts Alliance, GSF has found a great partner; they share the same values and focus on understanding their local markets and building lasting relationships with customers and suppliers. We're delighted to have played an important role in securing their future success together."
WLG fielded a cross-firm team of experts to provide legal advice, drawing on its automotive sector expertise and extensive experience working with entrepreneurs through the full life cycle of their investments. Andy led the team, which included real estate partner Phil Clissitt and senior associate Elizabeth Napier. Director Zoe Fatchen and associate Khurram Kayani were instructed on tax matters.
Shozzol Miah, senior associate in the Corporate team, and Jemma O'Reilly, principal associate in the Employment team, also advised. Partner Daniel Ugur and Patricia Boon in the Private Capital team, as well as Rebecca Finding and Claire Dolphin in the Company Secretarial team also supported the project.
GSF will continue under the chairmanship of Stan West and his current management team. Stan West will also join the board of The Parts Alliance.
HgCapital is a UK based mid-market private equity firm. Its acquisition of GSF's 75 branches adds to its existing investment in The Parts Alliance network, raising the total number of branches to well over 300 and increasing the Solihull-based group's coverage in the UK and Ireland.
PwC (led by automotive sector partner, Darren Jukes and Sarah Taylor) also advised GSF's shareholders on the transaction.