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Major growth and a management buyout off the back of an honest opinion

11 November 2021 : Case study

Servotech repair industrial electronics, and thanks to their innovative approach they have well and truly established themselves as market leaders. Since 2000, when the business was set up by Nick and Lindsey Riley, they’ve worked their magic to bring obsolete parts back to life. Like their business, their speciality isn’t small either, they particularly excel at mending parts for trains, trams and buses, keeping the bustling UK transport system moving.

When we met Nick and Lindsey, we instantly saw that they had an incredible business, but there was so much more they could do. 

Cue our Tax Director, Michael Burgess, and his big mouth…

A sleeping giant, ready to get up and go

After the grand tour of the Servotech premises, it was clear to Mike that the business was solid but the facilities were holding it back. At a first meeting, it would be easy to skirt around the tricky topics until the relationship had been built, but that’s not our style and it’s not what we’re here for. So, as ever, Mike was upfront sharing the news that the building wasn’t up to scratch and it was time to move on if their goal was further business growth.

Our approach was to advise on acquiring a new property, using the pension scheme to achieve this in the most tax-efficient way. We supported Servotech through the whole process, and it well and truly paid off. The move made a major impact, increasing capacity and delivering growth. 

Only as good as your people

In any business, it’s the people that can make or break it. Having the right people, in the right place will always have the biggest influence. Servotech had a great team and there were a couple of key members that were intrinsic to its success so keeping them happy was key. This is where the Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) scheme came in.

An EMI scheme is a win-win tax-efficient way of granting employees shares. It helped the company grow yet again and locked in key people at the same time. The beauty of an EMI scheme is that there is no tax to pay on granting the share option – either by the employee or the employer, so it was a great move for everyone.

Securing the future for everyone

After 20 years in business, Nick and Lindsey decided the time had come to think about retirement and enjoy the fruits of their hard work. But as owners, their goal wasn’t just to sell up and move on, the strategy had to secure the future of the firm and ensure it continued to move forward with the same values.

Having incentivised the management team through the EMI scheme, future owners were identified and the business was sold through a management buy-out. The new owners, Richard and Cindy, have committed to take the business forward with the same goals, strategies and innovative approaches that the business was built on. 

Nick and Lindsey have now successfully exited the business and are now enjoying a happy retirement. Their journey with us hasn’t ended there as our Wealth Experts are now working with them to make their money work harder for them through strategic financial and investment planning.

Don't just take our word for it...

"Since DJH Mitten Clarke have been involved in the finances of Servotech, the business, through their advice has evolved and grown into what it is today. We now have a larger facility that is designed for our specific processing needs. Our current workshop is one of our best selling tools, showcasing our skills and process management, through which we are able to generate confidence in our service abilities to our existing and new potential customer base.

When Cindy and I decided to proceed with the management buyout, completed September 2020, we were adamant that we would continue to work with DJH Mitten Clarke going forward. Their advice has only ever been positive for Servotech and already they are shaping the way we are looking at our finances going forward. 

The team looking after us at the moment; Lily, Lisa and Mike, are not only extremely professional but are very personable too, they make dealing with DJH Mitten Clarke a pleasure.

We are looking forward to many more years doing business with them."

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