Law firm helps go-karting buyout team make racing start

Starting grid: TeamSport’s managing director Dominic Gaynor, left and partner at Connection Capital, Julian Carr.

Starting grid: TeamSport’s managing director Dominic Gaynor, left and partner at Connection Capital, Julian Carr.

First published in Business Daily

LAW firm Harrison Clark has announced the completion of a £9 million 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 buyout 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 buyouts 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 since, to nine venues across the UK. The management team, led by TeamSport managing director, Dominic Gaynor, will now to focus on growing the business, which aims to have at least 16 sites by 2016.

Mr Gaynor said: “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.”

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

The Bank of London and Middle East (BLME) provided bank debt and the finance package includes £2 million 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 fragmented UK market. There is estimated to be around 100 go-karting operators, many of which are small and lacking on-going investment.

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