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Buyout shop Oakley Steers path to £500m car repair shop deal

The founder of one of Britain's biggest chains of car repair shops is to toast a huge windfall after striking a deal to sell a majority stake in the company at a £500m valuation.

Sky News has learnt that Richard Steer, who founded Steer Automotive Group little more than five years ago, has agreed to offload a controlling interest to Oakley Capital, the private equity firm.

City sources said the deal, which will see Mr Steer reinvesting in the business alongside Oakley, was likely to be announced this week.

Steer Automotive Group trades from more than 100 sites across the UK and employs more than 2,500 people.

Its customers include the major insurance companies Admiral, Allianz, LV and NFU Mutual.

The company says it repairs more than 115,000 passenger, luxury and commercial vehicles annually.

It counts the carmakers Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover, Lamborghini, Porsche and Tesla among its manufacturer approvals and recommendations.

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Mr Steer launched the company from a single site in Aylesbury in 2018 and has grown it at breakneck speed, according to industry insiders.

He secured investment from Chiltern Capital and Keyhaven Capital in 2021 at an undisclosed valuation.

One insider said that Oakley, founded by the entrepreneur Peter Dubens, had decided to invest alongside Mr Steer because of the strength of the company's management team.

Its financial backing for the business will include investment in training and upskilling vehicle technicians, they added.

New acquisitions to drive the company's growth are understood to be a strong possibility.

DC Advisory has been advising Steer Automotive on the process.

Oakley declined to comment on Monday.