VIMBO: Jistcourt guest blog/profile
Robert Norman is the former owner of Jistcourt, a Port-Talbot
based construction company. He handed over control of the business
to his son and daughter after support for a vendor-initiated
management buyout (VIMBO) from Finance Wales.
He tells us about the process:
1. What is your name?
2. Where do you live? Where is Jistcourt
I live in Swansea. Jistcourt is based in Baglan in Neath Port
Talbot, South Wales.
3. Could you tell us a bit about Jistcourt? What
sort of business is it?
Jistcourt is a South Wales-based construction company. Jistcourt
undertakes a range of design, build and refurbishment projects for
social landlords and local authorities and has also completed
successful education, health, commercial and industrial
4. When did you first hear about a Vendor
Initiated Management Buyout (VIMBO)? Did you know what it
I knew what I wanted to do but did not know it was called a
VIMBO until I first discussed it with my accountants Price
Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) Swansea. I have been planning and
discussing a VIMBO with my accountants for many years.
5. Why did you want sell your company via a
I have spent a lot of time over the last 20 years building my
business and wished to spend more time with my family and taking
the opportunity to travel. I also wanted to ensure the best future
for the company and the employees who have helped me create a
successful business. The VIMBO deal allowed me to pass on
management of Jistcourt to these employees and my two children and
retain a base for the company in Baglan.
6. How did the Finance Wales investment help the
Alun Thomas and Stephen Galvin and the team at Finance Wales
supported the management buyout of the company with a £1.1 million
investment. The process was smooth and ensured that the keys of the
company went to friendly and knowledgeable hands.
7. How did it feel letting go of the reigns a bit
as you transferred your company over to new
Initially it felt very strange allowing others to be at the
forefront of making strategic and managerial decisions without me –
but the new team are doing a great job and I’ve been able to spend
more time with my family and traveling as a consequence of the
8. What did you not expect about the VIMBO
Two things really –
I didn’t expect it to run as smoothly as it did, but the time
and effort put in up front certainly paid off in the long term.
I also didn’t expect it to feel so strange in taking a back seat
– it’s been quite difficult to deal with a feeling of losing day to
day control – but at the same time quite refreshing. It’s
interesting to see how people implement their own strategies. I
also have a lot more free time now!
9. What one piece of advice would you give to
business owners considering selling their companies?
Think about your exit strategy early. You may not be looking to
retire or move on for five, ten years – but the sooner you have a
plan in place the smoother the transition is.