Acquisition takes fleet to 7,500 units

Legal Posted 16/08/19
asb law advises on sale of Facelift (GB) Ltd to AFI–Uplift Ltd.

asb law’s corporate finance team have advised the shareholders of Facelift (GB) Ltd (Facelift) in their sale of the company’s entire issued share capital to AFI-Uplift Ltd (AFI), working closely with SRC Corporate Finance to deliver a successful outcome.

Founded in 1986 in Hickstead, West Sussex, Facelift has built an enviable market position in its rental business and its complementary training business. The company reported turnover of £12m for 2018, has a rental fleet of over 700 and prides itself on offering high levels of customer service.

The acquisition takes AFI’s UK fleet to 7,500 units and allows AFI to substantially add scale to its existing business. The acquisition of Facelift will particularly strengthen AFI’s offering in the self-drive truck and van mounted platform markets.

AFI plans to retain the Facelift brand, with Paul Standing (Facelift managing director) set to join the AFI board following the acquisition.

AFI is also pleased to report a good year of trading performance for 2018, with a strong rise in EBITDA despite a challenging year for the industry. For a business founded just over 20 years ago, revenues for the enlarged group will be over £100m.

This was a long-running deal and involved the resolution of some complex property issues including the presale purchase of a minority shareholder’s shares in a separate jurisdiction and the sale of the head office with lease back on completion.

Gordon Leicester, founder and majority shareholder of Facelift said of the deal: “We are delighted to have completed the sale of Facelift to AFI. The Facelift business has been built over 30 years and this deal will see AFI continue to support the business in the next stage of its development”.

asb law’s activity in the deal was led by partner, Claire Williams and the firm’s corporate finance and property teams worked closely with Rupert Rawcliffe and Ella Young of SRC Corporate Finance to get the deal over the line. Claire said: “The team and I are delighted to have assisted the shareholders of Facelift on its sale to AFI.”

Rupert Rawcliffe, founder of SRC Corporate Finance said: “The team and I at SRC CF are delighted to have assisted the shareholders of Facelift on its sale to AFI. AFI will provide a good home for Facelift, allowing founder Gordon Leicester to retire, leaving the business in good hands. It was a pleasure to work with ASB Law, Lucraft Hodgson & Dawes and Cardens on the sale of this successful national business.”

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