Sovereign sets growth agenda with Claremont takeover
High-end chauffeur operator Sovereign Car Hire Services has acquired Claremont Executive Services, and ambitious Sovereign boss Parvez Ali (above) says he is lining up two further acquisitions in the coming weeks.
Sovereign, based at Heston, near Heathrow Airport, and not to be confused with Cabot Group subsidiary Sovereign Executive, runs a fleet of 12 cars. “That’s all we need for what we do - we’re a quality mover, not a bulk mover,” Ali said.
“I have a small war chest which I’m putting to use buying companies that are ripe for transformation,” said Ali. “The aim is to pick up and integrate the small operators, because in order to survive in the industry you need to consolidate.”
Claremont, established in 1974, brings a fleet of 22 cars to the operation. “It’s a good fit and it complements Sovereign,” said Ali. “One of the things that stood out was the potential the company had.”
Discussions are under way with another company, which Ali describes as “a long-established company with seven cars”, and a third acquisition under discussion involves a 17-vehicle fleet. If all the deals come to fruition, the group will have 58 cars on strength, all running out of the Heston base. “This little unit will within three years be turning over £10 million,” Ali said.
Each would be run as a business unit, and would keep its identity. “It would be foolish to destroy a brand,” said Ali. “Each has a specific customer base. Claremont is very strong in hotels. Sovereign handles very high net-worth individuals including three people in the top 10 of the Sunday Times Rich List. The third company has very interesting banking and corporate accounts.”
So the companies would share overheads and back-office functions, and fleet utilisation would be maximised. The group companies will be able to co-operate on jobs – if Sovereign had a job that required more than 12 cars, it could source from Claremont, for example.
“Why should I sub-contract to an external entity if I have an internal resource?” says Ali. “Sovereign business is increasing 25% year-on-year, and Claremont should increase by 40% as a minimum.”