Chase Hardware

Any accountant could put a set of figures together but it was finding a way to make it happen especially towards the end of the process where Shorts really excelled

James Thomas - Managing Director Chase Hardware Ltd

I joined the business in 2009 and Robert Roebuck and I had been talking about a Management Buyout as his way of exiting the business for many years. But nothing really came of it until maybe November 2018 when Robert confirmed that he wanted to take a step back and consider retirement. He asked if I was still interested, and I said yes definitely, but I didn’t know how it would work, I’ve never done anything like this before.

We had an invitation from Shorts to come up to Sheffield. There was another company we spoke to, but we came to you first and sat through the presentation which was really helpful and we decided to move forward with Shorts. From my point of view, it was good to understand that you didn’t have to have pots of money to buy a business.

Although we began the process long before Covid-19, we did end up trying to complete in the middle of a global pandemic. The pandemic was a new situation for everyone and we were initially keen to continue and complete the process.

Then of course, (like all banks) HSBC pulled their lending products from the market and for a time, it looked like the deal was off. At that point, I thought it was all gone and there was no way that we could continue; we just had to try and switch off from it and concentrate on running the business through the early stages of lockdown.

Surprisingly, we traded slightly better through lockdown than we did beforehand. The lockdown period actually helped us as a business because it strengthened our online presence; the online side went ballistic and we came out the other side with stronger listings and sales continued. As trade customers started to come back they started placing orders as well and we had three record months on the bounce.

Throughout that lockdown period, Adam and I remained in contact, talking every week about what could be done. Adam worked really hard to look at alternative funding options when HSBC initially said ‘no’ but it was great that HSBC eventually came back on board. It is clear that the team at Shorts are extremely knowledgeable in what they do. As someone who has never done this sort of thing before, I needed a team who would guide me through the process and they were always there whenever I needed help or advice.

As I see it, any accountant could put a set of figures together but it was finding a way to make it happen especially towards the end of the process where Shorts really excelled. So it has been a great team effort and a great partnership between not just myself and Shorts but between Bell & Buxton and Shorts, a three-way team to get a very difficult deal done.

Shorts Services

Corporate Finance
  • Preparation of detailed monthly financial projections and investment document for submission to potential funders
  • Advice on the funding capacity of the business and consideration of a suitable funding structure
  • Advice on the formulation of the offer to acquire the Company and negotiation of Heads of Agreement with the Seller
  • Review and advice on banking documents and financial covenants
  • Close interaction with HSBC throughout
  • Project managing the transaction to legal completion

Chase Hardware Website