The deal was for an undisclosed amount, the firm said, with additional funds being made available for the development of new facilities.
Established in 1969, Millbrook owns a 665 acre site with over 45 miles of on and off road test tracks. Serving the automotive, energy and defence markets, the business has revenues of approximately £40m and has over 400 employees.
Under Rutland’s ownership, Millbrook will be led by CEO Miguel Fragoso. John Notman-Watt, who has 25 years’ experience in the testing, inspection & certification sector, will also be appointed executive chairman following the deal’s completion in early December.
GM will remain a “key” customer with both parties entering into a number of long term supply agreements. Millbrook has also developed third party relationships in recent years which account for the majority of Millbrook’s test and engineering revenues. These will accelerate this growth in the future, aided in part by the expansion of facilities and help from Rutland to invest further in and expand its service proposition, the company said.
Millbrook is the eleventh investment from Rutland’s £322m Fund II and follows recent investments in Buy As You View, Pizza Hut UK Restaurants, AFI Group and Bernard Matthews. In addition, the firm has exited four businesses over the last eighteen months: Attends Healthcare and Pulse Home Products from Rutland Fund II and NoteMachine and Advantage Healthcare from Rutland Fund I, returning over £200m to investors.
The firm was recently reported to be nearing a first close for its £300m-targeting third private equity fund.
Wardrop said, “Millbrook is a unique asset operating in a number of attractive markets driven by tightening regulations notably in fuel emissions and vehicle safety. The business has a strong reputation within the markets it serves and we are excited to support the team and invest further in the business as it transitions away from its current ownership and develops into an independent test and engineering business”.
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