Neil Hodson, the former Manheim, HPI and Experian executive, has led a management buyout of motor auction group Aston Barclay.
The company has secured a multi-million pound investment from Rutland Partners, which it says will pave the way for a significant investment in the development of its people, existing and new auction centres and new IT technology that will consolidate it as the UK’s leading national independent vehicle remarketing provider.
Hodson led the MBO and becomes its new chief executive, and former Sytner chairman Laurence Vaughan is also joining the board as investor and non-executive chairman.
Hodson said: “Aston Barclay is a great business and Rutland Partners’ multi-million pound investment across all areas will help further develop our service offering for both buyers and vendors. Our aim is to be at the forefront of shaping the remarketing industry, reinforcing our position as the leading independent provider in the market.”
Aston Barclay was founded by Les Scarborough and his sons Glenn and David Scarborough, formerly group managing director and commercial director respectively, will both remain company shareholders as non-executive directors.
Coinciding with the MBO. Aston Barclay has announced the development of a new 18-acre 'super centre' at Donington Park, which will become one of the largest state of art auctions in the country, with space for 350-400 cars under one roof.
Based in Donington Park’s famous Engine Room exhibition space, it will serve as Aston Barclay’s central hub for all remarketing operations, as well as being the home to a new buyer services and account management team.
The site will be open in quarter four 2017, with further network expansion planned in the future.
Aston Barclay’s Leeds centre has now been completely redeveloped; aligning it aesthetically with its Chelmsford, Prees Heath and Westbury centres that have seen a collective £1.5m group investment in the last two years.
The Prees Heath auction centre in Shropshire is set to expand - the company has already bought an additional 6.5 acres of land for future development.
Aston Barclay has also restructured its senior management team, with Martin Potter joining the board in the position of group operations director. He is supported by national operations manager Brett Henderson, while a new sales director will be joining the board in the near future.
Stewart Ford has also been appointed as group IT director following a successful career at CAP HPI, to spearhead the investment in Aston Barclay’s digital strategy which will be at the heart of every auction centre, creating a seamless journey from the physical auction hall to the digital space.
“With Glenn and David staying on-board, Aston Barclay’s family-run approach will remain at the heart of our offering for customers – a friendly, consultative and personal service with a board and senior management team always on hand to work closely with our buyer and vendor partners,” added Hodson.
Glenn Scarborough said: “We are pleased to welcome Neil and his management team as investors in Aston Barclay supported by Rutland Partners. These are exciting times for the remarketing industry and we are confident the support and the investment will enable Aston Barclay to exploit the opportunities for growth that the market has to offer.”
Oliver Jones of Rutland Partners said: “We are delighted to have completed our investment in Aston Barclay. The Donington site will deliver a step change in Aston Barclay’s offering to the market and we look forward to working with Neil and his team in delivering this next phase of growth.”