Directors lead MBO of Coleraine-based truck firm

Gary McDonald Business Editor

THREE directors have completed a management buy-out at Coleraine-based TBF Thompson (Garvagh) Ltd, one of the north's largest distributors of truck and heavy plant machinery.

The MBO, completed last month, was led by Raymond Crilly (60), Alan Espie (41) and Seamus Doherty (36).

It follows a £4 million funding injection into the firm from Santander Corporate & Commercial and heralds the start of a new growth-focused business plan under a new executive board.

The deal with Santander has also allowed TBF Thompson to expand its range of services as well as hire more apprentices for both its vehicle and plant business, with a view to improving the age profile of its workforce.

Managing director Raymond Crilly said: “Northern Ireland is showing clear signs of coming out of recession and the new team at TBF Thompson is ready to take full advantage of forthcoming infrastructure projects given our extensive fleet of construction plant and commercial vehicles.

“There will be a period of consolidation following the MBO before we look at significant expansion.”

TBF Thompson has been involved in the automotive and plant industries for more than 50 years, and is one of the most well-known brands operating in the sector.

During that time the firm has acquired franchises for names such as DAF, Hitachi, Thwaites, Palfinger, Bomag and Terex, and it remains the only firm to hold a DAF distribution licence in Northern Ireland.

The deal with Santander involves the bank's first ever structured finance deal in Northern Ireland, and will help TBF Thompson expand the range of truck and heavy plant machinery it provides.

Mark Robinson, relationship director at Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “We are delighted to support Raymond Crilly and the team at TBF Thompson as the firm looks to build on 50 years of outstanding heritage.

“We have been able to deliver a bespoke funding package that suited the firm's particular requirements and look forward to seeing TBF Thompson grow even further.”


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