TaxAssist franchisees invest with management in groundbreaking MBO

by Kevin Reed

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29 Aug 2014

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Karl Sandall

IN A GROUND-BREAKING DEAL, the franchisees of TaxAssist Accountants have worked alongside its executive management to buy out the business.

TaxAssist, 25th in the Accountancy Age Top 50 Survey of firms with £27m in revenues, is now co-owned by a tranche of its franchisees, senior management and long-standing business partners.

The franchisees that have bought into the franchise now own 32% of the business, while chief executive Karl Sandall, business development director Sarah Robertson and operations and finance director Phil Sullivan own 53%.

They will form the board alongisde two non-executives: John Chambers of Ashton KCJ Solicitors and a representative of the franchisees.

"We believe this is a first in the UK and internationally," said Sandall.

"Franchise operations have been bought by their management teams, but as far as we are aware never in partnership with their franchisees. More than half of our network, including franchisees and their staff, have invested in the business and many more have expressed an interest in buying shares in the future as they are placed on our internal market. We're delighted at the response to this offer and the even closer working partnership it creates for our business."

John Westgarth, who founded the business in 1995, retires as chairman and director.

Stephen Reed, corporate finance director at Price Bailey, Martin Simons, Senior Commercial Manager at HSBC and Mark Whittaker, Corporate and Commercial Partner, Ashton KCJ Solicitors advised on the deal.

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