Metric Group

Supplies and manufactures parking management solutions

In July 1997, Montagu originated, led and structured the £17 million (€27 million) Management Buyout of Metric Group Limited ('Metric') from Charterhouse Development Capital. The sale was the end of a process that had begun in 1990 when Charterhouse acquired Metric as part of a much larger group.

Metric's operations comprised two distinct activities with different customers bases. The Parking Division was engaged in the assembly, sale and distribution of pay and display ticketing machines, principally to local authorities whilst the Transport Division manufactured and distributed bus ticketing systems, primarily to private bus operators.

The Parking Division was the UK's leading supplier of pay and display machines. It supplied almost all of the 484 UK local authorities and commanded a 75% market share of the installed customer base. Metric's products included features such as remote communication/monitoring software and cashless payment that were the most advanced available. The Parking Division had also expanded into the European markets and developed a strong presence in Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries.

The Transport Division combined a durable low cost hardware system with one of the most technologically advanced transport software packages available on the market. This had allowed it to compete in European markets, particularly Germany, that required higher specification products with advanced features. The Transport Division had successfully built a customer base in North America and won substantial orders in markets with significant growth potential such as South America and the Far East.

The buyout was an opportunity for management, who had not been involved in the original MBO, to participate in the equity of the business. It was also an attractive investment for Montagu as we were able to use our specialist knowledge in assessing the prospects of the business.

Our faith in the company was rewarded when it was sold for an attractive price to a quoted European group in 1999.

Deal details

Deal type: Management Buyout Investment Year: 1997 Country: United Kingdom Status: Realised Value: £16 million Industry Sector: Business Services, Transport & Infrastructure