Haynes Publishing, the company best known for producing car manuals in the days before the internet, has put itself up for sale, the company has confirmed.
Bosses said they have spent the last five years re-establishing the company as an online business and believe it is now the right time to leave the stock market and be run privately.
Executive chairman Eddie Bell said: “Haynes’ board, management and staff have carried out a highly successful strategic transition over the past five years from an iconic manuals publishing business to being a leading supplier of content, data and innovative workflow solutions for the automotive industry and motorists.
“We have increasing revenues, strong profit performance, substantial cash in the bank and an attractive dividend yield record for shareholders. Our recent operating performance sits well on the sound foundation of the trusted and respected Haynes brand.”
He added: “The board now believes our future will be best secured by the whole group becoming part of an organisation with the financial resources to invest for future expansion and take the company through to the next 60 years of success.”
Staff were given the news on Friday morning and told the business would continue trading as normal during the process.
Europa Partners was appointed financial adviser to conduct the formal sale process.
The decision to sell up comes eight months after the death of founder John Haynes.
Mr Haynes launched the first manual for the Austin Healey Sprite in 1966 and sold all 3,000 copies within three months.
The decision to publish manuals for the average car owner came after a friend of Mr Haynes bought a Sprite in poor condition and asked him for help to rebuild it.
Realising how difficult the company’s own manuals were to understand and follow, Mr Haynes decided to publish his own – documenting how to dismantle and rebuild an engine.