SME Loans

Mercia loan backs buy-out at MOT training centre

One of the UK’s leading providers of training courses for MOT testers is planning to expand after undergoing a management buy-out backed by a loan from Mercia.

MOT Expert, which is based in Northampton, helps over 1,000 candidates each year to gain their qualifications including staff from some of the major garage chains.  The buy-out gives control of the business to Ross Laurence, who has managed it for the past five years. The deal was supported by Mercia’s SME Loans Fund alongside investment from Mr Laurence.

Established in 2015, MOT Expert has become a well-known brand in the industry that boasts an above-average pass rate of 95 per cent. The company offers a wide range of SEG and IMI-accredited MOT tester training programmes catering for professionals at all levels and covering cars, light vehicles and motorcycles. It also offers a two-day test centre management course which equips individuals with the skills to run an entire MOT testing business.

The company, which has been growing steadily under the current leadership, has recently won a number of major contracts and made a significant investment in its premises and equipment. Two recent industry audits have also shown that it has lowest risk rating in UK.  It now plans to continue its expansion by offering a range of new courses, tailored training programmes and consultancy services, and expects to create four new jobs in the year ahead.

Ross, a former British Army instructor, also ran his own recruitment company before joining MOT Expert in 2016. He said: “Having led the business for five years, I am delighted to take ownership of it. MOT Expert has built a reputation for high standards, thanks to the hard work of the team. Going forward, we will continue to enhance our service to maintain our position at the forefront of the industry.”

Mercia’s SME Loans Fund is one of the few debt funds that will support management buy-outs of smaller firms. Peter Rooney of Mercia added: “The MOT Expert brand is already well established in training circles in the automotive sector. Ross is passionate about the business and has played a key role in its growth to date. We are pleased to be supporting this buy-out which will give him the opportunity to build on its success and take the business forward.”

Matt Usher of Empire Finance provided fundraising advice to the company.


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