Northampton-based Watersheds seals deal on sale of Formula 1 software specialists

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An engineering consultancy and software provider that solves complex engineering problems for companies including Renault F1 and Jaguar Land Rover has been sold in a deal completed by Northampton-based corporate finance specialists Watersheds.

Leamington-based GRM Consulting Ltd, which provides design optimisation services and software solutions to a range of sectors including the automotive, motorsports, aerospace, rail and medical industries, has been sold to Solid Solutions, part of the TriMech company.The acquisition of GRM, whose origins date back to 2003 when MD Martin Gambling founded the then one-man company from his kitchen table, is a key part of Solid Solutions’ strategy to grow the engineering services team that services its 15,000+ software customer base in the UK.Watersheds partner Tim Harrington said that the sale has secured an exciting future for all concerned.“When owners Martin Gambling and Oliver Tomlin approached us to investigate the potential to sell, we explained that a lot of preparation work would be undertaken to present the business in the most appropriate way. GRM is a complex business marrying two connected, but very different, aspects – consultancy and software sales,” said Tim Harrington.“The fact that at Watersheds we do not charge any fees until a transaction has completed was very attractive to Martin and Oliver, who understandably had no experience of finding and negotiating with potential buyers.“We spent a lot of time making sure information about GRM was clear, drawing attention to the fact that GRM was a growing business with a very impressive customer list, including several F1 racing teams, some top car manufacturers and medical equipment specialists.“We realised GRM would be attractive to the big players outside the UK, and planned our research accordingly. When we approached a range of credible and suitable international buyers we were able to spark a considerable amount of interest, which meant Martin and Oliver had a range of options.“GRM is now set to be part of a much bigger group that serves some of the most prestigious companies in the world. Martin Gambling and Oliver Tomlin will continue to lead the business through its next growth stage, and their staff know that the company’s future is very positive.”

Martin Gambling said:“When we started thinking about selling, we realised we would need strong professional support on the entire process, from marketing the business to keeping us on track with all the due diligence and legal aspects of a deal.“GRM serves fast-moving clients who continually innovate, rather than iterate, always pushing design boundaries, so we wanted a buyer to match and complement that ethos.“Watersheds encouraged us to begin this process early, and took a very international approach to sourcing potential buyers, which has worked out very well indeed for both parties.“We’re delighted that Watersheds found us a buyer in Solid Solutions that shares our commitment to innovation, wants to build on our success and sees the importance of the role of our loyal and talented staff in that process. It’s the best possible combination we could have hoped for.”