HURST Advises as BTS Becomes Employee Owned

Posted: Nov 13, 2019
Expert:
Ryan Niblock

A team at HURST has advised on a deal which has seen Warrington-based Building Technology Systems become employee-owned. Established in 1996, BTS employs 54 staff across nine roles.

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The business designs and installs integrated building control systems for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, lighting, door access and CCTV, as well as energy management services and full after sales maintenance.

With the support of a seven-figure funding package from HSBC UK, a newly-formed Employee Ownership Trust has acquired 100 per cent of the business from owners Graham Spark and Dean Brookes.

Graham and Dean were keen to adopt this route as it allows them to stay in operational control of the company until their eventual retirement, with a smooth transition of management over a number of years for their customers and staff.

Ryan Niblock and Ben Bradley of HURST Corporate Finance, and Liz Gallagher and James Hamilton from HURST’s tax team, advised BTS on its transition to an EOT. Ward Hadaway provided legal advice.

Ryan said: “BTS is a long-standing client of the firm who have always led by example, not only in their industry but also within their business.“They have a great team and this Employee Ownership Trust is testament to the fact that they truly value their employees and company culture.

“It was a pleasure working on this deal with BTS, the team at HSBC UK and Ward Hadaway. We will them all the success for the future.”

Employee Ownership Trusts were introduced by the government in 2014 and HURST’s specialists have advised on a number of these transactions in the north west, including recent ones at recruitment and payroll services company Kinetic and coatings business Northpoint.

HURST pictured with BTS and HSBC L-R, Ryan Niblock, Dean Brookes, Stephen Wright & Graham Spark

Graham Spark said: “We’re incredibly proud to have built an innovative business that has stood the test of time for over 20 years. “The time was right to ensure the future of this company so when the opportunity came to pass ownership to our employees, we were confident that this would put the business in the right hands. “This buyout will guarantee that the business can continue to provide reliable control system solutions for our customers as well as job security for our employees.”

Stephen Wright, business banking relationship manager for Greater Manchester, HSBC UK, said: “For over two decades, the directors have created an innovative and progressive building systems management company earning an excellent reputation for service and quality throughout the UK. “The new Employee Ownership Trust is made up of individuals that completely understand how the business operates and we’re fully confident that they can continue to lead BTS to long-term success.”

Sam Roden, business banking area director for Greater Manchester, HSBC UK, added: “We’re delighted to support BTS as it enters its next chapter in achieving its growth aspirations. “HSBC UK support a large number of employee-owned businesses and are actively looking to engage with organisations that are considering the transition as part of their succession plans.”

Deb Oxley, chief executive of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “Congratulations to Building Technology Systems on their transition to employee ownership, which will secure the values, culture and employees of the business for the longer term in the communities in which it is based.

“Access to finance is a key issue for supporting more employee ownership succession plans in the UK, so we are delighted to see HSBC UK finance this transition, which supports our evidence that employee ownership is becoming more respected, more widespread and more successful as it moves into the mainstream of business ownership.”

If you would like to discuss employee ownership as part of your succession planning, feel free to contact a member of our team either by clicking here or by calling 0161 477 2474