Posted: 9 February 2021

Spotlight on Wilcomatic

Spotlight on Wilcomatic

Interested to know a little more about the companies we invest in? What we look for in them? What we bring to the table? Ed Minton, senior investment manager, tells us a little about Wilcomatic.

  1. Tell us a little about Wilcomatic

    Wilcomatic is a market leading provider of commercial vehicle and rail wash systems to both domestic and international markets. In the UK, the business has established itself as the ‘go to’ partner to the major supermarket groups, for the supply and maintenance of forecourt wash equipment such as rollover car wash machines, water recycling systems, air water towers, jet washers and vacuum units. The business deploys remote monitoring technology and a 24-hour maintenance desk to service a nationally dispersed customer base and equipment portfolio.

    Wilcomatic operates from HQs in Croydon and employs >120 people.

  2. When and what did WestBridge invest?

    WestBridge acquired the business in Mar-19. We facilitated a deal whereby the existing shareholder managers were able to de-risk and crystallise some of their value but also re-invest to support their growth plan and participate in the upside.

  3. What was it about Wilcomatic that appealed to you?

    The management team evidenced deep knowledge and experience in the sector and had demonstrated the start of a business transition to an annuity-based model with the successful mobilisation of two large supermarket contracts. They had identified further compelling opportunities to replicate this model with other multi-site customers to enhance growth, margins, and quality of earnings. The business was also positioned favourably with a number of global rail contractors to capitalise on continued rail infrastructure spend in international markets.

  4. How is WestBridge adding value?

    Our focus has been on supporting the strategic transition towards an annuity revenue model whilst improving operational capabilities in core business functions. To help this, we augmented the senior team with the appointment of a Chairman and CFO and strengthened the finance function with the recruitment of a high calibre FC. Since investment, considerable progress has been made in expanding the national equipment estate, complemented by improved data capture and KPI reporting. This has helped to drive efficiencies through the service infrastructure and asset base.

  5. And what of the future?

    Wilcomatic has continued to grow share of the UK automatic car wash market through long term strategic partnerships with the supermarket groups and fleet operators. Establishing the operational delivery of these contracts remains the short-term focus for the board. There are also a number of other strategic opportunities that we are exploring to further leverage technology and our installed asset base.

We look forward to continuing to work with the senior team to deliver on their plan and capitalise on new market opportunities.

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