In early March, the Morgan Motor Company announced that the company had been sold to an investment company specialising in industrial businesses. InvestIndustrial would buy a majority share of the company from the founding family, who would retain a minority stake and the management of the business.
Morgan is the last of the truly independent manufacturers in the UK and part of a small community of similar companies across the wider European region. Several years ago there was a family split with several members leaving the business and the management. This new deal means that all employees of the company will become shareholders, whereas since its creation, only the family have been owners.
The company has had its best year on record with 700 cars sold and revenues of about £33m with some 30,000 visitors a year to their factory in Malvern in the middle of the UK. However, to make improvements and to keep “relevant”, the family and management needed to find a way to grow – and that usually means higher revenues or some form of investment. They chose option 2 which they believe will take them to option 1.
InvestIndustrial is an interesting partner. They were founded in 1990 by being spawned from an Italian industrial group with a large amount of cash to play with – $6b. They have experience in automotive turn-arounds having helped Ducati refocus when they bought 30% in 2006 and started to help them. Two years later they bought the rest of the stock and delisted the company. It only took them a further four years of ownership to make them profitable and then sold it to Audi within the VW Group during 2012.
After selling Ducati, InvestIndustrial then put a chunk of money into Aston Martin, and they are still part of their portfolio, helping them to sign the technical agreement with AMG. It seems that Morgan will get what they need to continue their growth strategy with this investment partner.
Morgan is an iconic brand that has used a variety of aftermarket engines and other components wrapped in their highly unique designs. To move forward, they will need to access new technologies whilst retaining their core brand values. This is a similar strategy that Aston Martin has gone through and if the Morgan family can retain the traditions, maybe with a completely new design to attract other buyers, then the partnership with InvestIndustrial is the one to do it.
Image owned by Morgan Motor Company.