OCS Asset Solutions, the retail services arm of OCS Group UK offering stocktaking, supply chain management, store and merchandising support to the grocery and general retail sector, has been rebranded as Retail & Asset Solutions (RAS) following a £13m investment from mid-market private equity investor LDC and significant co-investment from the six-strong management team.
The vehicle and asset auditing services offered to the finance and banking sector will trade as Vehicle and Asset Solutions (VAS).
Headquartered in Orpington, Kent, Asset Solutions Group generated sales of £35m in the financial year ending 31 December 2017 and expect it to achieve growth of around 15 per cent in the current year, thanks to increasing demand for services. The rebrand has been implemented to strengthen the identity and sector focus of the services available, whilst retaining the current expertise and heritage of the business; a market leader across many of its key retail services including stocktaking, supply chain, retail support and RFID.
Retail & Asset Solutions CEO Lois Heywood says: "This is an exciting evolution for us, one which sees our team of experts and range of specialist services take on a new name, whilst retaining our skills, experience and core values.
"The new name reflects the fact that we will now exist as a separate entity from the OCS Group, allowing us to hone and focus entirely on the world of retail and its very specific requirements, something we have been doing expertly for the last fifty years.
"The decision to move forward as Retail & Asset Solutions affords us the opportunity to develop our retail proposition even further, expanding into European markets and continuing to deliver market leading innovation, insight and solutions that truly impact profit."
Following the deal, the management team plans to invest further in technology-enabled services, consolidate the company's position in the UK and review expansion opportunities into several overseas markets where it sees significant growth potential.
Led by CEO Lois Heywood, the management team includes Finance Director David Wilson, Sales & Account Director Graham Parker, Operations & IT Director Paul Neal, HR Director Lucy Moore and Operations Director Marc Yardley.
Heywood continues: "Our team of specialists, range of services and client base will only benefit from this transition, as we continue to build on our strengths and unique market position. We anticipate the next few years being very eventful, as we move forward with our new identity and vision thanks to the involvement of an experienced investor like LDC."
Retail & Asset Solutions counts a range of household brands including Jack Wills, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Close Brothers among its clients, including the UK's leading supermarkets and high street retailers. Its range of services, which includes specialist supply chain assurance technology and 'Good Faith Receiving' (GFR) programs, has been developed using an inherent understanding of the needs of retailers, and by impacting process efficiencies, these directly translate to cost savings and profit.
Rob Schofield, Investment Director at LDC, said: "We've been working with Lois, OCS and the management team for a number of months to get this transaction to fruition. We've been hugely impressed by the quality and drive of the management team, and the breadth and quality of the customer offering for both the retail and finance sectors.
"We're keen to identify more firms where private equity can be the catalyst needed for management to bring the company they run into independent ownership and accelerate its growth with a fresh injection of energy, focus and incentive."