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Pearlman sells up to management buyout sees

Essex-based automotive components and accessory supplier Pearl has changed hands after 35 years under the control of founder Michael Pearlman, following the completion of a management buyout by three of its long-standing employees.

Already shareholders in the company, new owners Steve Catling, Robin Etherington and Peter Ground bought Pearlman’s shares through personal investment. The company will now operate under the name Pearl Automotive.

Following the buyout, the three owners will continue to serve on the management board. Former purchasing and operations director Catling will become managing director, while Etherington and Ground will continue their respective roles as finance director and customer services director. The board is completed by Richard Withers, who retains his position as sales and marketing director.

Pearlman will continue to be involved in the business in a consultancy role.

The £6.5 million turnover company, which incorporates the High Tech Parts, Pearl Consumables and Pearly Wot-Nots brands, serves independent motor factors, retailers and nat-ional distributors in the UK.

Now stocking 8,000 part numbers, Pearl’s turnover has risen 15-20% over the past decade since it starting selling into the automotive aftermarket.

“The impressive growth achieved over the last decade has been down to the combined efforts of the management team and its employees so it makes sense to draw on these strengths after the management buyout in order to provide our customers with even greater sales opportunities,” said Catling.

“We thank Mike for his support and I feel that the deal will give the management team the opportunity to build on the company’s success to date.”

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