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Selling a business - it’s all about housekeeping

02 August 2022

Ruth and Gareth Coates have been a client of ours for the last 15 years. In that time, we’ve built a great relationship with them, providing support and guidance for their professional cleaning company, RCB. 

After being at the forefront of building a successful business, they came to us in August 2021 to discuss their retirement plans and how the sale of RCB, would help fund this. They realised they wanted to do this sooner rather than later so they could make a start on all the things they hadn’t been able to due to the time constraints which go with owning your own business. 

Selling a business is a major decision and we were privileged that they entrusted us with something that would be vital to their future plans. 

Leaving the business pristine 

Based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, RCB provides managed hygiene services in the industrial and commercial sectors. Ruth and Gareth had grown the business significantly over the last 5 years, with turnover growth as high as 32%, year-on-year.  

After working hard to establish the business and give it a strong financial footing, Ruth and Gareth decided the time was right to find a buyer who would not only provide them with a suitable financial exit but one that would continue the high-quality service level which had become synonymous with the RCB name. 

They asked our team to guide them through the selling process and to find the right buyer, who matched their priorities of:
1.    enabling their future ambitions, 
2.    further establishing the RCB name and, 
3.    supporting the 450 members of the RCB team. 

To kick things off, we discussed what a suitable valuation would be for the business. Our team looked at the current business performance and also its potential future probability, to give Ruth and Gareth an accurate figure of what their asking price should be. 

The main benefit of this valuation for Ruth and Gareth was to ensure they got the maximum value out of the sale and give them a benchmark when the first offers landed on the table. It also helped to quantify what they would walk away with if they reached this price and for the first time, it created a vision for what their retirement plan may look like. 

Finding a sparkling buyer

Once we had a number of interested buyers, we discussed each with Ruth and Gareth, supporting them on points of contention and providing advice on counter offers, either by negotiating with the potential buyer or adjusting the terms of the sale. At this stage, we weighed up the priorities that Ruth and Gareth had set out and identified the potential buyer that we felt was in the best position to deliver on these. 

Once a price was agreed with the preferred buyer, we went through our process, reviewing the DD process, SPA, tax and accounting warranties and supporting the completion of accounts. The sale was finally completed in March 2022, not only securing a great deal for Ruth and Gareth personally, but also securing the long-term future of the business. 

A bright future for Ruth and Gareth? 

Whilst it was celebration time for Ruth and Gareth once the sale went through, we wanted to make sure that they had all the options available to enjoy a long and comfortable retirement. Their journey with DJH Mitten Clarke continued as we put them in touch with our Wealth Experts team, who advise them on investment plans, so they can sit back and enjoy their retirement. 

Don’t just take our word for it

"I wanted to take this opportunity to thank DJH Mitten Clarke for their assistance in the transaction, in particular Matt Lawton, who provided me with fantastic support during due diligence and dealt confidently with an extremely complex deal, giving help and advice throughout. I would be happy to recommend Matt in any future business transactions that you are involved with." - Gareth Coates

A fresh start at RCB and The Glen Group

The buyer, Glen Group, are one of the largest privately owned cleaning companies in the UK. Their plan is to continue to grow the company and look for synergies with its current operation and, with the Glen Group currently having operations across the South of England and Wales, if offers a fantastic opportunity for both businesses to expand their geographical base and diversify the client sectors they operate in. 

“We were attracted to RCB due to its size, sector focus and potential. Ruth and Gareth have created a great business with even more potential and we intend to leverage our greater scale to support the remaining management team achieve those growth goals. We intend to retain the RCB brand since its synonymous with client service in its sector and look forward to expanding its geographic coverage in the coming few years. I wish Ruth and Gareth all the best with their well-earned retirement”. - Dave Seaton Chairman of Glen Group  

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