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Grant Thornton in top gear with £182m sale of Motor Parts Direct

Grant Thornton UK LLP’s corporate finance team has advised on the sale of Motor Parts Direct Group, the UK’s leading independent retailer of after-market car parts and accessories.

The privately-owned Hertfordshire-based company, which had annual sales of £158m (2021), 175 branches nationwide and over 1,700 employees, has been acquired by Motus Holdings, South Africa’s leading automotive group for £182m.

The acquisition significantly strengthens Motus’ UK and European presence and gives it a strong market position in the UK after-market parts sector.

The shareholders of Motor Parts Direct, were advised by a team led by partner Mike Tillson, assisted by Ryan Shields, Calum McDonald and Misha Brooks. Grant Thornton also provided due diligence and tax structuring services on the transaction – demonstrating the power of its complete M&A solution.

In a statement, the board of Motus Holdings said: “The acquisition is aligned to Motus’ international growth strategy for the after-market parts business and will reduce the Group’s dependency on vehicle sales.

“The acquisition will provide economies of scale, group procurement benefits and synergies. The business is cash generative and asset light. The existing management team, excluding any members of the family, are committed to remain and grow the business. Key management have been secured and are committed to continue managing the business into the future.”

Mike Tillson said: “The rise of Motor Parts Direct is a classic entrepreneurial growth story. From starting the business in 1999 from his Hertfordshire living room to building a market-leading multi-million enterprise, Mukesh Shah MBE, the shareholders and the management team have created an exceptional market-leading business.”

Mr Tillson added: “Despite some clear economic headwinds, M&A is still very much on the agenda, and a number of overseas buyers remain keen to acquire quality UK assets.”

Other advisers working on the transaction on the sell side includes law firm Freeths,  Jonathan Hambleton and James Cowell (corporate) and Sam Pancholi (property).

Motus Holdings were advised by a team from law firm Irwin Mitchell led by Emma Callow.

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