Vincents supports Lancashire retail deal

The Cabus Mart convenience store and petrol station is under new ownership following its acquisition by Lancashire retail operator Mark Follen for an undisclosed sum.

Advised by Mark Alexander of Vincents Solicitors, the deal has seen Follen purchase the business and secure a long lease on the seven-pump fuel stop and 1,000 sq ft Spar shop on the A6 at Cabus near Garstang.

With a background in retail, having worked for Lancashire supermarket chain Booths for 21 years, Follen purchased his first business in 2007. This acquisition is his third, and expands a portfolio which includes a Spar shop and post office at Ribchester in the Ribble Valley, and a garage and Spar at Claughton-on-Brock, also on the A6 north of Preston.

The vendor was the Chippendale family. Two existing staff have been retained and another six new jobs created.

Mark Follen said: “This is a well established business and this purchase is a natural extension of what we’re already doing elsewhere in the county. We know the road, we know the location, and we already work with Spar at our other two sites which follow a similar model.

“Our plan is quite straightforward, to increase the range of retail products and grow the customer base. The business is well positioned for residents of Garstang and the outlying villages, plus holiday makers at nearby parks and caravan sites, and the passing traffic of HGVs and drivers heading north to Lancaster and the Lake District or south to Preston and Blackpool. We will be catering to all needs with everything from household items and kitchen basics, to drinks, snacks and magazines for those passing through.”

Funding for the acquisition and was provided by Barclays Bank and financial advice was provided by accountant Julie Eccleston.

Mark Alexander, head of commercial legal services at Vincents Solicitors, said: “Mark has a good eye for what works in this sector and with this acquisition can build on a model which is already proving successful at two other locations.

“Having purchased the business but not the property it was important we delivered a solution which would ensure security and allow for the investment Mark wants to make in his business.”

Rosemary Riley from Barclays Bank added: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to support Mark and Suzanne Follen with the purchase of their third leasehold site using the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Scheme. “Mark and Suzanne understand the sector, their customer base, the local economy and the day-to-day challenges of operating a business through hands-on experience and a hardworking, positive focus. ”