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West Midland private equity deal boost for telematics business

RS Connect - black boxRS Connect, leading installers of telematics systems in private and commercial vehicles for the UK insurance and fleet management sectors, has secured investment from Beech Tree Private Equity (BTPE) to support the company’s ambitious growth plans.

The investment by BTPE, which has acquired a 45% stake in the Coleshill-based business, will support the company’s plans to more than double turnover, currently approaching £10m, in the next two years.

Beech Tree’s stake is matched by Managing Director, Lea Hodson, with additional funding coming from the existing management team. Paul Franks, managing partner of Beech Tree Private Equity, has joined the RS Connect Board as Chairman, while Steve Thornhill and Adrian Cutler join as Financial Director and Commercial Director respectively.

Commenting on the deal, Lea Hodson, said: “These are exciting times for our business and our employees. We’re delighted to have Beech Tree Private Equity on board to support our continued growth in our existing sectors and entry into new markets.”

“The investment is being used to expand the management team, the development of new markets and creation of high value strategic partnerships.”

Paul Franks added: “We’re incredibly excited to be investing in RS Connect. Our business model is to seek out fast-growth sub-sectors in the UK and then find the best businesses in these sectors to take advantage of the market dynamics. The market for telematics solutions is accelerating rapidly and we have invested in the UK’s leading service provider. We believe there are significant opportunities for brand extension and creating our own safety technologies.”

As part of the drive for growth, the company has rebranded as RS Connect, and has launched a new website to better engage with its target markets.

The UK telematics industry continues to grow as insurance companies offer the devices alongside reduced premiums, particularly for the young 17-20 year old driver market. The devices provide real time data on driver behaviour and insurers using such systems have reported improved loss ratios enabling them to give lower premiums to their customers.