Finance Durham

Finance Durham Fund managed by Maven invests £250,000 in automotive styling centre Muss Styling

Specialist car wrap garage will relocate to County Durham initially creating four jobs to support business growth strategy and drive marketing

The Finance Durham fund, established by Durham County Council and managed by Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), one of the UK’s most active private equity firms, has invested £250,000 in pioneering automotive styling centre, Muss Media Ltd (“Muss Styling”). Funds raised will enable the company to invest in its design, sales and marketing functions, roll out a national car dealership engagement strategy and employ additional wrap technicians to fulfil growing demand. As a result of the investment, the firm will establish its design, sales and marketing functions in County Durham.

Founded in June 2015, Muss Styling provides professional automotive wrapping services which involves applying large sheets of high quality printed vinyl to cover vehicles and transform their appearance. These wraps personalise vehicles and protect the paintwork, shielding them from stone chips and minor abrasions. Low maintenance and long lasting, vehicle wrapping is a much cheaper option than repainting, with customers able to choose from an extensive range of colours and finishes and work with Muss Styling’s in-house design team to create a truly unique finish.

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The firm started out wrapping cars for individuals, including celebrities, and quickly established a strong social media following on Instagram and YouTube, which resulted in Muss Styling securing business from car dealerships in the North East and Scotland, including Mercedes, Bentley, Rolls Royce and BMW. Muss Styling is now the largest specialist car wrapping and automotive stylist in the north of England and provides vehicle coating services to dealership groups such as Sytner, Cooper and Stratstone, as well as to corporates for vehicle branding, advertising and campaigns, and directly to consumers. Muss Styling’s strategy going forward is to target repeat revenues from long-term contracts with corporates and car dealerships.

The investment in Muss Styling is the sixth deal from the £20 million Finance Durham Fund established by Durham County Council and overseen by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham. The Fund is managed by Maven Capital Partners, one of the UK’s most active private equity houses and SME finance providers, to support the growth of high potential businesses located in, or looking to relocate to the County. Maven provides flexible funding packages tailored to SMEs’ growth requirements, and opened offices in both Newcastle and Durham last year to support regional businesses.

Crowned one of the UK’s most innovative cities in March 2018, Durham is home to a growing hub of dynamic, high-growth businesses. The relocation of Muss Styling to the County to operate and grow its business will add to Durham’s existing network of aspiring companies.

Michael Vassallo, Investment Director of Maven, said, “Muss Styling is a highly ambitious business with an impressive product range that has already achieved great success in the automotive industry on a local and national level. The fact it has such a large following on social media, and some impressive blue chip car dealership customers and a number of high profile celebrities, is testament to the quality of the company’s products. Jamie is a hard-working, talented businessman with a dedicated team behind him that will help drive the business forward to achieve its ambitious growth plans.”

“This investment is a great fit for the part of the Finance Durham Fund allocated to support innovative companies relocating to the County. We look forward to working with more companies like Muss Styling who are looking to grow their presence and support job creation in the region.”

Jamie Mussett, Managing Director of Muss Styling said “We are really excited to expand our offering to provide commercial fleet wrapping, signwriting, commercial signage and graphic design all in-house. Muss Styling has already established itself as a market leader in professional car wraps, tints and automotive design. It is through our team’s hard-work and dedicated support from partners that we look forward to taking the business to the next level.” When we started the company we were told you couldn’t do this up here, so we a very proud of our success and overwhelmed with the phenomenal support we’ve received locally and nationally.”

Sarah Slaven, Business Development Director of Business Durham, said: “Muss is a company which is growing quickly and its success to date demonstrates its expertise in this area of the automotive industry.  We look forward to welcoming Jamie and the Muss team to County Durham and working with them as this exciting business continues to grow.”

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “It is great that an innovative and growing business like Muss Styling has chosen to move to County Durham with the support of the Finance Durham Fund.

“We wish Muss Styling the best of luck as it continues to expand and look forward to working with other companies planning on moving to our county, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.”

Alex Wilby, Partner at Swinburne Maddison, which advised Maven on the latest investment via the Finance Durham Fund, said: “As always, it was a pleasure advising Michael and the team at Maven on their latest Finance Durham Fund investment.  The Finance Durham Fund is a fantastic initiative which is making a real difference to businesses within County Durham.  Muss Styling is an exciting young company with a big future and I wish them all the best with their plans for growth.