TOM vehicle rental
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TOM Vehicle Rental gets a major investment boost for expansion with private equity investor Equistone Partners Europe acquiring a majority stake in the company.

Equistone, one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, is investing alongside management and the original founder-owner of one of the leading UK providers of flexible vehicle rental solutions. The financial terms of the investment are undisclosed.

Founded in 1991, TOM provides long-term, flexible hire of commercial vehicles (vans, trucks, trailers) and cars to over 900 public and private sector customers. Its rental business comprises 11 hire locations across the UK – six in Scotland and five in England – and is one of only two multi-vehicle rental specialists in this market.

The company also operates a complementary commercial vehicle dealership across five sites through its two franchised dealer brands, Mercedes Benz and Citroen.

Robert Stewart, CEO of TOM Vehicle Rental, said: “Equistone’s investment in TOM is transformational for our business, in terms of both the financial backing and the increased executive team bandwidth it provides.

“This additional support will allow us to accelerate the ambitious expansion in our market share, number of UK locations, fleet size, customer base, and rental service offering. Throughout these changes, the same quality of service and concern for customer satisfaction that have underpinned TOM’s success to date will remain our core focus.”

TOM generated revenues of £213m in the financial year ending March 2016. Equistone’s investment will support the company’s ongoing organic and acquisitive growth plans to further increase its market share within the UK vehicle rental sector.

Tim Swales, a partner at Equistone Partners Europe, said: TOM has a strong business model, a compelling growth trajectory, and a highly regarded, dynamic management team with an impressive track record. Accordingly, it represents a great addition to Equistone’s UK portfolio and we’re delighted to have backed the company.”

Paul Harper, also a partner at Equistone, added: “We have exciting plans for the continued development of the business, which is extremely well positioned for further organic and strategic growth. We look forward  to working closely with Robert and his team in developing TOM into the number one player in the UK for multi-asset vehicle rental.”

Tim Swales and Paul Harper from Equistone will join the board of TOM. The buyout is Equistone’s 17th investment from its fifth fund, Equistone Partners Europe Fund V.

Equistone was advised by Deloitte, Private Acquisitions Ltd., Grant Thornton, OC&C, and Travers Smith.

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