Multi-million pound investment in Yorkshire-based SMART repair firm DHMB will fuel its expansion into the Greater Manchester region in 2020.
Businessman Phil Newstead, who acquired Dent Wizard Ventures from Manheim in 2011 through a management buyout and sold it to Amtrust for £16m in 2017, has now bought into DHMB, which works with many of the county's major car dealerships including JCT600 and Evans Halshaw, and will support founder Dan Besau in its expansion.
DHMB's trading brands are Dentrepairs.co.uk, SMARTrepairs.co.uk and Wheelrepairs.co.uk and Newstead said he and Besau have a vision to develop the business throughout the UK.
“The next obvious market for expansion for us is the Greater Manchester area and this plan will be executed next year," said Newstead.
"We have an initial aim to double our tech base to 100 technicians over the next two years and double our turnover to £8 million. The longer-term plan is to continue the geographical expansion through the Midlands with an aim of eventually providing nationwide coverage."
He said the UK's SMART repair supply base is very fragmented and dominated by small independent operators at present, which provides scope for strategic expansion and acquisition to can build a national network that can then service customers with a national requirement.
“We can both see that our future is in providing a quality SMART repair offering across all of the UK, to warranty companies, insurers, dealer groups and vehicle remarketing companies," said Newstead.
In the past Besau was a franchisee of Dent Wizard Ventures and he said that having known Newstead for years he has confidence in his new business partner's vision and commitment.
Besau said DHMB has "gone from strength to strength" in recent years. It now employs 50 staff and has a fleet of mobile repair vans.
"The mobile business has proved popular and successful and, when I spotted a gap in the market for high-end alloy wheel repairs, I had the confidence to go for it, too."