Go-kart operator TeamSport Racing drives off with £9 million backing

The management of TeamSport Racing has led a buy-out of the business with help from Connection Capital.

Private equity firm Connection Capital has backed the £9 million management buy-out (MBO) of go-kart operator TeamSport Racing.

The transaction represents an exit for the company’s founder, Paul Wrightman, after 23 years of growing the business.

TeamSport Racing’s MBO is being led by Dominic Gaynor, who has grown the business alongside Wrightman to its current position of nine venues across the UK. Going forward, the business and Gaynor plan to have 16 sites by 2016.

Also investing alongside Connection Capital in the deal is Neil Taylor, co-founder of struggling high street computer games retails GAME. Taylor took GAME public and then sold it to Electronics Boutique in 1999 for £99 million.

The business says that the buy-out comes at a time when there is a growing demand to make motorsport more accessible to the public and corporate markets. To accommodate for this, the growth strategy of TeamSport Racing will involve purchase of new and existing tracks from a stock of roughly 100 go-karting operators who are reported to be small and lacking investment.

During the last two years, TeamSport Racing has opened what it calls the first carbon neutral track at Tower Bridge, as well as new sites in Bristol and Brighton.

More on recent management buy-outs:

Gaynor, managing director of Guildford-based TeamSport Racing, comments, ‘Now we have financial support in place, the next few years represent a fantastic opportunity for TeamSport to continue its growth across the UK.

‘We are currently looking at some interesting acquisition opportunities, and have advanced plans for several new track builds later this year.’

Private equity firm Connection Capital has a reported £130 million of assets under management across 45 individual transactions and has interests in businesses including Wagamama and Phoenix Learning and Care.

Julian Carr, partner at Connection Capital, adds, ‘TeamSport management has evolved an excellent operating model which clearly outperforms its competitors.

‘We hope to see the next generation of Jenson Buttons and Lewis Hamiltons come through our doors.’

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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