SJ Berwin helps Arques offload car purchases

Corporate partner Ylan Steiner led the SJ Berwin team advising on the sales of Auto Windscreens and the British School of Motoring (BSM). The combined profit on the two transactions is believed to be in the region of e21m (£18.89m).

The same corporate team advised the German restructuring specialist on two ­separate deals to buy Auto Windscreens in December 2008 and BSM in February 2009. Arques acquired both entities for what was described as a “symbolic” fee before embarking on restructuring programmes.

BSM was sold to a consortium led by Abu-Haris Shafi and Nikolai Kesting – both of whom had joined the company after the sale to Arques – in what was effectively a management buyout. Freeth Cartwright acted for the buyers, with corporate finance partner David ­Tillcock leading the team.

Before joining BSM, Shafi was managing director of Auto Windscreens, while Kesting was general ­manager at Arques’ Spanish ­subsidiary Capresa.

Auto Windscreens was bought by an English ­purchasing vehicle, AW Industries, that was set up for the deal and capitalised prior to the sale. The buyer, a ­German-English family office, was advised by Irwin Mitchell, with M&A partner Edward Persse leading.