ParkVia

Manchester-based parking aggregator ParkVia provides car drivers with the facility to pre-book car parking spaces online. They work with more than 2000 car parks in over 40 countries worldwide. These are predominantly at airports, but also railway stations and ports. Clients include car parks themselves, for whom they market spaces to consumers worldwide, and airlines, including Ryanair, EasyJet, and IAG.

How was the deal introduced?

The team was originally introduced to the opportunity by KJG Chartered Accountants in a competitive auction process towards the end of 2017. Mercia was invited to proceed on an exclusive basis in early April 2018.

What did the company plan to use the initial funds for?

The investment of £4m provided a full exit for two of the three founder shareholders of ParkVia, and a partial realisation for the current MD. The transaction was an MBO at a sensible price for a highly scalable business. We backed an MD who remains motivated to grow the business and achieve an exit over the relatively short-term.

What progress has the company made since the first investment?

Since the investment there has been considerable focus on developing the team, and several executive team appointments have been made to support the MD, including a finance director, sales director and commercial director. Mercia has also appointed the former CEO of HolidayTaxis as non-executive chair.

With Mercia’s support, the company is also in the process of implementing a share options scheme to incentivise employees. A three-year plan is in preparation which reflects the changes to the business since the pre-investment plan and new customers that have been won, including IAG.

The Mercia Effect

What have we been able to do for this company as a result of our involvement?

Mercia has provided a longer-term approach to investment in the business and of course assistance to enable the MD to buy out his co-founders. We have also assisted with the development of the executive team and board through engagement with our Executive Search partner, along with other advisors as appropriate. We have been able to introduce the MD and team to Mercia portfolio companies that could potentially provide advice and assistance and have also made introductions to contacts who have provided support on an interim basis.