Harrison Clark helps keep £9 million go-kart business buyout deal on track

(l-r) TeamSport’s Managing Director, Dominic Gaynor, and Partner at Connection Capital, Julian Carr.

(l-r) TeamSport’s Managing Director, Dominic Gaynor, and Partner at Connection Capital, Julian Carr.

Leading regional law firm, Harrison Clark, has announced the completion of a £9m management buyout of TeamSport Racing Limited, the largest operator of go-kart tracks in Europe.

The deal saw private equity firm Connection Capital complete the buy-out of TeamSport, with Harrison Clark Solicitors acting for the management team and purchaser, along with Hazlewoods corporate finance, both being instrumental in getting the deal over the finishing line.

Richard Wilkey, partner in Harrison Clark’s Corporate team, said: “This was a complex transaction with many different dynamics, it was fantastic to be involved and showcase what Harrison Clark is capable of delivering.

“In addition, the deal demonstrates that for strong management teams in the right business, management buy-outs and private equity transactions are still a very real opportunity. I am excited for TeamSport and look forward to working with the management team in the future.”

TeamSport was founded in 1990 and the business has steadily grown ever since, to nine venues across the UK. The management team, led by TeamSport managing director, Dominic Gaynor, will now continue to focus on growing the business, which aims to have at least 16 sites by 2016.

Dominic said: “Our success is based on our fantastic core product; our customers get to race on exciting multi-level tracks – and their experience is delivered with exceptional customer service.

“Now we have financial support in place, the next few years represent a fantastic opportunity for TeamSport to continue its growth across the UK. We are currently looking at some interesting acquisition opportunities, and have advanced plans for several new track builds later this year.”

On Harrison Clark’s role in the deal, Dominic added: “Harrison Clark was a driving force in getting the deal done and worked hard to deliver a commercial deal all round. We are looking forward to the firm and its experts being part of the wider professional team going forwards,” Dominic added.

Connection Capital introduced and invested alongside Neil Taylor, co-founder of GAME, in the deal. Taylor and his team grew GAME into a successful company prior to taking it public on the UK Stock Exchange and selling it in 1999 to its rival retailer Electronics Boutique for £99m.

The Bank of London and Middle East (BLME) provided bank debt and the finance package includes £2m for growth opportunities.

The buyout comes at a time when there is a growing demand to make motorsport accessible to the public and corporate markets. The growth strategy for the business therefore includes the acquisition of new and existing tracks in what is a very fragmented UK market. There is estimated to be some 100 go-karting operators many of which are small and lacking on-going investment.

Harrison Clark is also growing as a whole. The firm recently announced its merger with Rickerbys LLP, another leading regional law firm, expanding its regional presence and breadth of legal services even further. The merged firm, which will trade as Harrison Clark Rickerbys, will have a combined staff of 350 based across its offices in Cheltenham, Worcester, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and the Thames Valley, as well as serviced offices in Birmingham and London. The combined firm will have a turnover in excess of £20m, positioning the business as a formidable player in the region. It is anticipated that the merger will complete at the end of March.

Harrison Clark is a leading law firm providing a complete spectrum of City-quality legal services to business and private clients across the three counties, the south Midlands and M5 corridor and the south west. Its work in all aspects of law is nationally and internationally recognised. The firm has been a member of MSI Global Alliance, one of the world’s leading international legal and accountancy associations, since 2007 and in 2012 Harrison Clark was again recognised for the quality of its work through a listing in Tier 1 of the prestigious Legal 500 and Chamber and Partners lists of the major firms in England and Wales.

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