David Mountain, founder of Essex-based tuner Mountune, has acquired the firm in partnership with a number of other investors.
The brand, known for its manufacturer-backed tuning packages for hot hatchbacks like the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Golf R, was previously reported to be seeking a buyer after Mountain stepped down from his role as director. Now, it said, Mountain's investment has safeguarded "a large number of jobs at the Essex-based facility" and raised "the required capital to both protect the brand and secure its future".
It has not been confirmed why Mountain originally stepped down, but he said: “It’s widely recognised that the success of the road car group, predominantly, led to a situation where the demand was outstripping the previous business’s ability to supply and support our customers. Covid-19 simply served to compound the problem further.
“It gives me enormous pleasure to be able to secure the brand both now, in its 40th year, and for the future. We can’t wait to get back to supplying and supporting our customers and dealers properly and also embracing new technologies that will enable us to take Mountune forward for decades to come."
The firm plans to return to "business as usual" by continuing to offer its range of tuning packages and modifications, but will also look to develop its own electric powertrain hardware, most likely for sale to car manufacturers and race teams.
Mountain's acquisition means Mountune is now an independent entity, having previously been linked to a number of businesses in the US. Over the next few months, it will prioritise rebuilding its stock levels while working towards the release of new products.
Following Mountain's departure in August, accounting firm KPMG was appointed to find an investor to “recapitalise the business and to unlock management’s growth aspirations”. Reports suggested the venture capitalist company that owned Mountune had realised its investment.
Financially, Mountune’s state is relatively unknown. In the financial year ending December 2017, it recorded a trading loss of £107,429 and has yet to publish any figures since, suggesting this trajectory has continued. It has not been confirmed how much Mountain paid for the company.
However, the company has remained active, introducing its most powerful tuning upgrade yet for the Ford Fiesta ST earlier this year, raising the output of the hot hatch to 232bhp.
A similar package was rolled out for the Focus RS last summer, taking the output of that car to 513bhp through replacing its existing turbocharger with a “specially engineered” item from BorgWarner. Mountune has also pivoted to tuning Volkswagen models in recent years with its Mountune52 sub-brand.