My former business partner Alan Hooks decided that he wanted to exit the business and I was given the opportunity to consider a management buyout. I decided at that point it was to be with two of the guys I had recruited and brought into the business (Toby Whewell Sales Director and Mark Clegg Operations Director) That decision was reached at the end of 2018 and we started the process in Q2 of 2019.
We looked at a number of partners, had an initial meeting with Shorts and got a good feel for that meeting. So it was decided we would appoint Shorts to act on behalf of the management buyout team, to assist in preparing forecasts and an investment document, which obviously involved numerous discussions and understanding of our company.
At the same time, there were simultaneous discussions with the tax team at Shorts, where advice was given to us both on corporate tax and personal taxation issues going forward.
I’m a big believer that in business, what’s important is your relationship with people. We saw a number of firms, but from the very first meeting, I got an impression of competence and integrity and also a firm that seemed very keen and clearly had our interests at heart. From the beginning, Shorts were very professional, good communication, good feedback – not scared to speak truth to power – and I was quite happy with that. We haven’t done this before and therefore you need someone who’ll say, “no, you’re barking up the wrong tree, you’re not thinking the right way, leave it to us”.
All the people we dealt with at Shorts, (David Robinson, Adam Ames and Andy Ryder) were all very competent and very professional; we enjoyed working with them. And the expertise, professionalism, commitment and passion to get the deal done came across very strongly.
Would I recommend someone else to use Shorts? – Absolutely, without hesitation.