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Vegem on track after MBO

Vegem, the Leeds-based parts distributor that went into administration late last year, has been rescued from the brink by a management buyout.

The team of four directors, consisting of Brian Waters, managing director, Tony Dalton, Sarah Topley and Jackie McGuire, beat off 10 other interested parties to buy the firm, renamed Vegem International, for an undisclosed sum at the end of February.

The company retains its three brands: Autogem, supplying exhaust components, tools and workshop consumables; Veco, non-OE parts; and Motopax, the branded nationwide tools and consumables delivery service.

In the short term the company will rationalise product lines and move to smaller premises to trim costs. Longer term the company will grow its main dealer and franchise business. This year Vegem International expects to turnover £8m.

“Historically, the premises have been too large,” says David Stafford, sales and marketing director. “We are looking to relocate in the next few weeks to a smaller modern warehouse and office building close by which will also provide a better working environment for our staff.

“We will rationalise some product lines. With some parts we are one of a number of distributors so we have not been particularly competitive. We might re-introduce these lines at a later date from a different source.”

Asked why the company will do better under the new management, Stafford says: “The company is more streamlined, with lower overheads, owned by people with a vested interest in its success and more insightful of the market.”

Veco and Autogem have traditionally sold to fast-fit outlets, factors and national chains.

Vegem International wants to retain this market and take full advantage of the block exemption rules to develop its dealer business by getting Veco adopted as a second line alongside manufacturer OE parts.

Vegem also has an export department, selling Veco parts and consumables, mainly around Europe but also as far afield as Australia.

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