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Rutland returns over 6x on Millbrook sale

Rutland Partners has completed the sale of Millbrook Group to Spectris for GBP122 million.

The disposal from Rutland Fund II realises for investors a return of over six times its investment.
Millbrook was acquired from General Motors for an undisclosed sum on 2 October 2013. It is a test, validation and engineering service provider for the automotive, transport, tyre, petrochemical, security and defence markets.
Established in 1968, Millbrook is located at the heart of the UK automotive and fuels industries. The business owns a 665-acre site offering extensive test and validation facilities which complement over 45 miles of on and off road test tracks with a variety of surfaces, features and terrains.
Millbrook also acquired Test World in Finland in 2015. Test World is a winter vehicle and tyre testing business with a range of winter tracks and indoor facilities enabling all year around testing within the Arctic Circle.
Since acquisition, Rutland has recruited a new senior management team led by Alex Burns (CEO) and has invested or committed over GBP20 million, an element of which will now be assumed by the buyer.
The business has been transformed from a General Motors dependent company to one that has a broad base of UK and international clients and test and validation services.
In the period since acquisition, non-General Motors revenues and EBITDA have grown significantly with an eight-fold increase in underlying earnings. Third party revenues are now the driver of financial performance.
Millbrook will become part of the test and measurement division of Spectris and complement a number of its existing businesses. Burns and the majority of the senior management team of Millbrook will remain with the business and help to grow Spectris in its target markets.
The sale of Millbrook takes cumulative proceeds realised to date on Rutland Fund II to in excess of GBP360 million. The fund has made 11 investments for a total of GBP300 million, and still to be realised are Brandon Hire, Pizza Hut Restaurant Group, Buy As You View, Bernard Matthews and AFI.
The transaction was led on behalf of Rutland by Nick Morrill, David Wardrop and Rahul Satsangi.
Rutland says: “On acquisition, Millbrook was a unique asset with great unrealised potential. We have helped the team develop a market focused business with a strong reputation as an independent company. Through extensive completed and planned capital expenditure the business is primed to drive strong growth for its new owners. We wish Alex Burns, the team and Millbrook’s new owners every success and are delighted to provide our own investors with such a strong return on their investment.
“We would also like to thank Rothschild for their support during the sale process and PricewaterhouseCoopers for their support on the original acquisition of Millbrook and the subsequent acquisition of Test World."

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