The transaction marks the first exit from the firm’s second fund and has been completed in little more than two and a half years after WestBridge supported the original management buyout of the company in September 2018.
The deal has delivered a positive return for WestBridge investors.
Following the MBO, WestBridge appointed Andy Dun as Chairman to help drive strategy and has worked closely with him and the executive team to develop the business.
As well as introducing operational improvements and investing in the company’s head office, WestBridge has helped AJM enhance its clinical and corporate governance, refine its operational processes and procedures, introduce new IT systems and review its approach to tendering, all of which has helped to deliver substantial new contract wins and improved performance to its commissioning groups and service users.
A recent poll of 63,000 clients revealed that 99% rate the service they receive from AJM as good or very good.
WestBridge has also helped embed ESG initiatives across its operations.
In the last 12 months alone, the amount of mobility stock recycled or refurbished by AJM has more than doubled, while it is well on the way to having a fully electric fleet of vehicles. As a certified Disability Confident employer, AJM also has 16.5% disabled employees, well above the national average.
AJM now provides services to over 30 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), making it one of the UK’s leading providers of integrated wheelchair contracts.
Steve Peck, who led the MBO in 2018, will stay on as managing director. He said:
"We were highly impressed with the WestBridge team from the outset and have enjoyed working with them. They have been a very supportive partner with a real understanding of the challenges that face a growing business and a practical approach to adding value.”
Tim Whittard, partner at WestBridge, said:
“It has been a pleasure to work with Steve and his team. They have worked hard to transform AJM and realise its potential. We are proud to have delivered more than just financial support and helped them achieve their growth ambitions. AJM is now perfectly positioned to take advantage of further opportunities with a new partner.
“We wish Steve and his team continued success in the future and are delighted to have played our part in AJM’s evolution while delivering a positive return for our investors along the way.”
Guy Davies, managing partner at WestBridge, added:
"We are delighted that this exit, along with syndicating a small part of the Eque2 and Channel 3 Consulting transactions, has allowed us to return over 34% of WestBridge II’s committed capital to investors. The Fund’s DPI (Distributions to Paid in Capital) now stands at 76%. WestBridge II is firmly a top quartile fund for its vintage and category as at 31 March 2021 as measured by an independent PE benchmarking specialist, and given the strong growth trajectory of the portfolio, we expect it to remain so.”