Export specialists complete a buyout to an EOT

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Niche export packing and freight forwarding company, Vanguard Packing Limited, has ensured the long-term independence of the group through a sale to an Employee Ownership Trust.

Established by John Sumner in 2000 the business has expanded operations from its head office in Blackburn to deliver its international packing and shipping. service to a UK base, operating from further sites in the Midlands, North East and Scotland.

Advised by a team from Pierce Corporate Finance John Sumner was keen to realise his investment in the business whilst also looking to ensure the long-term stability of the business and the continued delivery of the exceptional service the business is renowned for.

The Pierce Corporate Finance team led by director Kevin Steven, and supported by tax director, Dominic Ball, advised on the deal structure and project managed the transaction to a successful completion, working to a tight deadline.

John Sumner, Vanguard Packing said: “Whilst I had been considering the options to realise my investment in the company, I was conscious that Management and the employees have been key to the long-term success of the business.

"Following discussions with Kevin and Dominic from Pierce in respect of the options open to me, it was obvious that a sale to an Employee Ownership Trust allowed me to realise my investment in the company whilst also providing an opportunity for management and all employees to share the ongoing success of the business.”

Kevin Steven, Pierce Corporate Finance director, added: “We are pleased to have been able to work on this project with John and through the exploration of several exit strategies, provide the best outcome for both John and the continuation of the business. Whilst a sale to an Employee Ownership Trust is not straightforward and is not ideal for all situations it was clear that this structure provided significant benefits for all parties. We wish John and Vanguard Packing all the best for the future.”

Legal advice for the Vendor was provided by KBL Solicitors in Bolton, led by Corporate Partner Greg Gardner Boyes with the Trust advised by Corporate Partner, Jenny Burke of Forbes Solicitors in Blackburn.

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