EOT case study – Specialised Movers

Nov 16, 2022
Author: Hawsons


In 2022, Hawsons Corporate Finance had the pleasure of supporting Specialised Movers Limited (“SML”), a well-established storage and removals company, based in Sheffield, during their transition to Employee Ownership.

SML was not previously a client of Hawsons, however, their current advisors recommended Hawsons to the directors due to our experience and proven capabilities in this area.

The owners, Nigel and Carole Shaw were keen to find a suitable succession strategy, whilst providing a secure future for the company and its loyal employees. An Employee Ownership Trust (“EOT”) fit the bill – offering the workforce an opportunity to grow and steer the company, and reap the benefits, whilst providing Nigel and Carole with a tax-efficient exit strategy.

With a driven and ambitious team, the employees of the business are now even more motivated than ever, to grow and shape the business, and benefit from a share of the profits.

We caught up with Carole Shaw several months post-transaction:


Where did you first hear about Employee Ownership and why did it suit the business?

We had heard about employee ownership from a friend in the industry who had recently sold their business to an EOT. They spoke highly of the concept and it seemed like a suitable exit strategy for us. Our main focus was on ensuring that the employees were secure following our exit, and this strategy offered a great degree of comfort around this.


Did you consider any other exit strategies?

There was interest in the market for a trade sale, however, we wanted to ensure that the staff were well looked after post-transaction and a trade sale didn’t offer us enough assurance over their futures and of the future of the business. An EOT was a perfect fit.


How did the employees react and have you noticed a shift in culture post-transaction?

Understandably, the majority of staff were unaware of exactly what employee ownership entailed. Hawsons played a key role in visiting the team and explaining the process in detail, as well as answering queries that staff had at the time. The staff have welcomed the transition, and we believe this has increased employee motivation across all levels.


Would you recommend employee ownership to other companies?

Absolutely, yes. If you are considering an exit strategy and wish to ensure that the legacy of the company is protected, as well as peace of mind that you are giving back to your employees, who ultimately have helped you get to this stage, then it is a great exit strategy. Not to mention the tax benefits!

Pete Wilmer

Corporate Finance Partner


Jack Ware

Corporate Finance Director, Sheffield

Jack Parker

Corporate Finance Manager


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