Trade-only plumbing and heating merchant, Williams & Co, has been acquired from the Williams family by its management team and staff for an undisclosed sum.
Founder Mick Williams retains a minority share, and will continue as non-executive chairman after the buyout, which was finalised today (April 23).
A consortium of management and staff, led by longstanding executive directors Ray Stafford (managing director) and Rachel Moore (finance director), put the successful bid together, supported by Nat West and Royal Bank of Scotland who have structured a flexible finance facility secured on receivables and inventory. The consideration includes a mix of cash, equity and loan notes, ensuring that the business retains ample resources to maintain its aggressive trading style and expansion plans.
Williams, who was the driving force behind the last Labour Government’s Boiler Scrappage Scheme, is enthusiastic about the future. “After four decades at the helm, there was always going to be a moment when I took a less active role, and I am delighted that this solution permits the company to retain its unique character and values.”
Stafford says: “Rachel and I are overwhelmed by the incredible buy-in from the management team and staff. 62% of the staff have invested nearly half a million pounds of their own money to own a slice of their future and demonstrate their commitment to the business. It’s a
huge expression of support and belief from everyone involved. Words can’t express how proud we are to lead such a fired-up team, or how fortunate we are to retain Mick’s matchless experience in the boardroom.”
Williams & Co turned over £43.3m in 2014 from 28 branches in South East England and reported a pre-tax profit of £2.59m. The company also operates the ecommerce website www.tradeonlyplumbing.co.uk and imports and distributes Heatline radiators across the UK.