Bullseye Superfactors Limited

I would highly recommend Shorts. You need someone to hold your hand through the process, and you need reassurance. Shorts coming to our place of work and offering that reassurance was greatly appreciated.

Stacy Phillips - Bullseye Superfactors Limited

Andy Ryder and the Shorts Corporate Finance and Tax teams recently helped Bullseye Superfactors Limited transition to employee ownership via the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) route.

Here, Stacy Phillips Samantha Simpson, Adrian Wesbroom and Scott Godfrey of Bullseye share their experiences with the EOT process, and how Shorts helped them complete the transition.

How were you first introduced to Shorts?

We were introduced to Shorts way back in 2017/18 when I wanted to do my MBO (Management Buyout), and I didn’t know where to start.

I was introduced through NatWest, and they kind of held our hands through that process, which gave us a lot of confidence. And so when I wanted to do the EOT, it was a no-brainer. I went back to somebody I trusted, and it worked out really well.

Andy and Laura of the Shorts team with Bullseye

How much did you know about EOTs to begin with?

We knew very little about it. Shorts introduced us to it in a seminar that they ran along with NatWest. We went along and had one of those lightbulb moments when Andy was talking about EOT, and we suddenly went, “Wow, that is my exit plan”. We didn’t have one before – nothing had suited until then.

The options were laid out, and some of them were very logical. But the EOT, as Shorts further introduced it to us, sat with our culture better. The way we can reward staff; that’s the beauty of it.

It’s good that it is an inclusive venture for everyone that works here. Everyone in the company now has their own piece of the pie.

How has the wider team responded to the EOT?

We started with a presentation, which we were a bit nervous about. But it went down really well. We were able to go around and answer questions that the team had, explaining things in more detail. They’ve all settled and it’s been really, really positive.

It’s rewarding when you explain it to people. You’re now a part owner of the company. At first they don’t quite grasp it, until you lay it out before them and the penny drops. The John Lewis comparison hits them, because they can understand that.

What were the main priorities for the exit?

During my retirement plan, I probably did it two to three years earlier than anticipated. When I decided to do the EOT, it was important to do it sooner rather than later. Our business is very buoyant at the minute; it is growing well, and its longevity has been extended with the market as it is. For the team to get the benefit as well, it couldn’t just be what I wanted it to be.

When deciding to do an EOT, it has to be for the people you’re leaving in charge. Now that it’s done, they’ll get the loan paid off quicker. There is plenty of life in the industry to get the loans paid back and benefit the company in the long term. So the timing was very good.

It’s getting the two together: what’s right for the business, and what’s right for you.

What was the EOT process like?

We didn’t have many expectations as it was totally new. We felt the process was comfortable. We were impressed by the reassurance that we got from Shorts. There were some worries about the process: had we prepared well enough? Had we covered off every angle?

But when we came out of the last meeting, it didn’t seem bad. It happened very quickly.

The tax implications were quite daunting for us and we really benefitted from a hands on approach. David and the Shorts team took those concerns away and put them in understandable terms that we could follow. That was very reassuring.

What would you say to someone looking at their own exit?

I would champion EOTs, very much so. We had our buying group meeting last week and I actually took 15 minutes out to present EOT as a possible exit. I wanted them to be aware that this is out there – we didn’t know it was out there. We wanted to spread the word about the options.

Would you recommend Shorts to assist with an exit strategy?

You need professional advice with these things. I would highly recommend Shorts. You need someone to hold your hand through the process, and you need reassurance.

At the levels where we are now, we have to take honest feedback on board. We have to do it to make it succeed, otherwise there’s no point doing it. I appreciated being able to pick up the phone, talk to somebody, and get honest feedback.

What three words would you use to describe Shorts?

Trustworthy / Reliable / Informative

About the client

For over 35 years, Bullseye, a family-owned business, has been a trusted supplier of top-brand auto parts and accessories in South Yorkshire and surrounding areas. Their knowledgeable staff help customers find exactly what they need to get their vehicles back on the road. They recently unveiled a new website, making it even easier to shop their extensive inventory. You can visit their website to learn more below.

 

Visit the Bullseye website