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Bernard Sims Associates

Supporting another Employee Ownership Trust

Case Study

About Fullbrook Ventures Limited trading as Bernard Sims Associates

Fullbrook Ventures Limited, an independent construction health and safety consultancy, were first introduced to us by their lawyer, Christian Wilson, in April 2020. Headquartered in Guildford, Fullbrook Ventures Limited trades as Bernard Sims Associates and has offices in Leeds, Manchester and Staffordshire with other locations in Scotland, Wales and the South West of England.


Initially, the Strategic Corporate Finance team at Price Bailey, led by Simon Blake, were engaged to conduct a valuation of the company to help the founders consider their future succession plans. On completion of the valuation in July 2020, the founders decided to pursue their desire to future proof their business to enable them to start their plan to step back from so much of the day-to-day running of the business and to concentrate on the future succession.

Working alongside their lawyer, we advised the founders on structuring the sale of 60% of the shares in the company to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Having already conducted the valuation for the company, we worked with their management accountant to assess the current financial position, to understand the cash and funding available for the EOT, and what future performance was expected. In addition, we conducted scenario planning with the founders in order to assess the impact of different structures for the EOT both for the business and with regard to the repayment of vendor loans. Meanwhile, their lawyers ensured that the management team and employees understood the structure and meaning of the intended sale.

Once the terms of the EOT scenario were agreed, the Strategic Corporate Finance and Tax teams at Price Bailey supported the company in applying for HMRC clearance for the EOT transaction and received confirmation of clearance within three weeks; this was a quick turnaround, with clearances typically taking up to 28 days to be confirmed, and some taking slightly longer if HMRC has queries. Following completion of the transaction, we were able to introduce the founders to our personal tax colleagues who have subsequently engaged Price Bailey to look after their personal tax requirements.

We were very pleased to assist Fullbrook Ventures in what promises to be a very exciting next step for their business, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for them all.

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