Clearwater advises Sovereign Capital Partners on acquisition of Kindertons Accident Management

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UK private equity firm Sovereign Capital has acquired Crewe-based accident management services provider Kindertons, for an undisclosed sum, in a deal led by the Manchester team at Clearwater Corporate Finance.

Kindertons is a nationwide specialist provider of outsourced accident management services for motor insurers and insurance brokers together with claims management services for drivers who have been involved in a road traffic accident. Sovereign will work with the management team to grow the business both organically and through carefully selected acquisitions to meet the increasing demand for its offering.

Kindertons services include receiving ‘first notification of loss’ calls on behalf of its work partners and the provision of replacement vehicles and full claims management services thereafter to drivers involved in road traffic accidents. Employing 450 people, Kindertons is headquartered in Crewe and operates 11 depots around the UK, with a total diverse fleet mix in excess of 2000 vehicles. Kindertons’ nationwide coverage enables it to respond immediately when an accident is reported.

Since it was founded 20 years ago, the business has developed a strong reputation for excellent customer service, which has helped it deliver year-on-year growth and win a host of industry awards.

The management team is led by its founder, Shaun Ellison, who will continue in his role as Managing Director. Sovereign is augmenting the management team with the appointment of non-executive Chairman Jon Walden, who has considerable motor industry expertise having previously been CEO of Lex Vehicle Leasing and a main board director of the RAC.

Neil Cox, Director at Sovereign Capital, said: “Kindertons is an excellent business that provides a high quality valued service to its clients, helping them carry on their busy daily lives without the hassle and disruption of having to deal with the consequences of a car accident that typically wasn’t their fault. We look forward to working with Shaun and his management team to continue Kindertons’ strong organic growth supplemented by strategic acquisitions benefitting from Sovereign’s extensive buy & build expertise, experience and resources.”

Shaun Ellison, Managing Director of Kindertons, commented: “With Sovereign’s investment and support we look forward to continuing to grow and develop the business. To date Kindertons has helped almost a quarter of a million people get back on the road after an accident and it is testament to my dedicated team that we now find ourselves in this position to progress the business to the next level.”

The team at Clearwater Corporate Finance comprised partner Paul Jones, assistant director Chiara Pettinicchio and assistant director John Davies, who advised Sovereign on the deal. Clearwater partner Mark Taylor arranged a bespoke debt facility.

Paul Jones, support services partner at Clearwater, said: “This is yet another successful deal in the insurance services sector following the recent sale of Direct Group to Ryan Specialty Group. Sovereign Capital Partners has a proven record of growing businesses through a buy and build strategy and the insurance services market is highly fragmented and consolidating and is therefore ideal for such a buy and build model.”

Clearwater partner and head of debt advisory, Mark Taylor, added: “We are expecting debt funds to support private equity activity across the whole of the UK and this deal is a prime example of what is happening in the market. As part of the transaction, we arranged an innovative debt facility which supports both the initial transaction and the ongoing strategic aims of the business.”

Debt to support the transaction was provided by Chenavari Investment Managers.