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Succession 60 second interview - Beaufort Research, Management Buy-Out

Beaufort Research is one of Wales’ largest and best-known marketing and social research agencies. Long-standing directors Fiona McAllister and Chris Timmins used a Finance Wales loan to buy-out the company’s founder in July this year. Here Fiona speaks about the experience.

1.  What were your reasons for pursuing a management buy-out?

My colleague Chris and I had been running Beaufort Research for a few years as directors following the retirement of the company’s founder, so we knew the business and our market inside out, the time just seemed right for us to step up and take full ownership.

2.  Did you have any prior experience of buying a business?

No, not really!  Neither of us had been through a management buy-out before so it was a completely new situation for both of us.  Our starting point was to get as much advice as possible from friends and family with an accountancy or financial background, as well as experts, about what might lie ahead, so at least we ended up with a rough idea of what to expect.

3.  How would you describe the experience?

As with any legal process buying a business takes time, but generally it was relatively painless as we had excellent advice from the corporate financial adviser we employed to guide us through the buy-out. We also found Finance Wales to be very helpful and flexible in dealing with our funding application.

4.  How did you feel becoming a majority shareholder of the business?

Amazing!  It’s great to feel that we’re completely in control of our destiny now.

5. What advice would you give other management teams thinking of pursing an MBO?

Just go for it! You will know if you have the right experience, skills and enthusiasm to make a success of the business going forward.  Don’t be put off by the complexity of the process – there’s plenty of expert help and advice available. And related to this – do get professional advice. Trying to manage the whole process and the negotiations alone would take a huge amount of time and energy and inevitably impact on your ability to focus on your business.

If you’re a management team with aspirations to become a majority shareholder speak to Finance Wales today to find out how our funding can help.