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Mercedes dealer Rygor Group announces management buyout

Rygor Group, which includes award-winning Mercedes-Benz dealer Rygor Commercials and newly-launched Rygor MAXUS, has undergone a management buyout.

The Westbury-based group has been bought by John Keogh, who was previously Rygor’s sales director and Rish Channa, previously head of truck sales at Rygor. John has become Rygor’s managing director, with Rish being named commercial director.

“As you can imagine, this is an extremely exciting time for us and the future of Rygor Group Ltd. We love the Rygor business and both Rish and I have been working within it for more than a decade. Being able to say that we are now joint owners of the company, is a really special moment for us,” said John.

“We have a fantastic team here at Rygor, an award-winning team, and our focus over the past few years has continued to centre on their progression, wellbeing and building a positive company culture.

“We were thrilled to become Great Place to Work certified in 2022, as well as standing out for our employee engagement, as overall at the Institute of Internal Communications Awards. This continues to be a key objective for the Rygor business.

“Over the past year we have implemented a new appraisal process, an enhanced apprentice programme and an incredible wellbeing programme.

“It is our team members who make us strong and successful, and we are greatly looking forward to working with them as Rygor continues to lead the way. We will also be focusing on building a more sustainable and greener future for the business and working with brands on electric vehicles will be key to this.

”In June 2022, Rygor announced that it had started works on the build of a new, custom-designed dealership at the Worton Grange industrial park in Reading. The brand-new Mercedes-Benz Truck and Van centre is due to open officially in the next few weeks.

Commenting on the investment, Rish said: “It’s a big year for the Rygor business, and this investment demonstrates our commitment to continually investing in our facilities for the benefit of our customers and our incredible team.

“We know our team comes to work to feel valued and engaged and a fantastic working environment is a significant part of that. Our new Reading branch, which is conveniently located just a mile down the road from our existing Reading site, comprises nearly 44,000 sq. ft of space.

“It will allow us to offer enhanced services to our customers in the area, and our brilliant team at our current site will be moving over to the new Dealership, so our customers can rely on the exceptional service they know and depend on.

“We have an incredibly loyal customer base at Rygor, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in our new roles as owners of the business, as well as welcoming new customers to the Rygor business as well.”

John and Rish will be joined on the Rygor Board by group finance director Tim Smith – previously Rygor’s finance director – and aftersales director, Sean Joyce – previously Rygor’s service director.

Both Tim and Sean became directors of Rygor at the beginning of 2021, having progressed through the Rygor business into these positions, and both have been integral in the success of the company over the past 18 months.

The shareholders were advised by a team from law firm RWK Goodman led by James Worrall and including Yasmine Qasim, Katharine Mortimer and Will Woods (Corporate), Tim Gofton (Employment) and Daniel Pinheiro (Real Estate).

“We are delighted to have advised the Rygor shareholders Tim, Graham and Paul on the transaction, working alongside the teams at Deloitte and Bishop Fleming,” said James.

“Having worked with Rygor for several years it’s great to see the business in safe hands and we look forward to seeing it continue to go from strength to strength under John and Rish’s leadership.”

Deloitte UK (corporate finance) and Bishop Fleming (tax) also advised the shareholders of Rygor on the transaction.

Paul Morris, tax partner at Bishop Fleming, said: “It’s been great to work with Tim, Paul and Graham over the years as they’ve built the Rygor business, and we very much look forward to working with John and Rish going forward as it enters this exciting new phase.”

Deloitte corporate finance partner Phil Lane said: “It was a pleasure to support Tim, Graham and Paul on the transition of the business to the management team, and we look forward to seeing the business continue to grow and flourish in the future.”

Funding for the transaction was provided via an eight-figure package from Shawbrook.

Rygor is based at the West Wilts Trading Estate and has outlets in Swindon and Reading, and at six other locations across the UK.