Case Study: BWC Profiles
“YOU’VE GOT ALL THE RIGHT PEOPLE AROUND YOU WHEN YOU NEED THEM. TC GROUP JUST MAKE YOUR LIFE A LOT EASIER.”
Mark Barker, Finance Director, BWC Profiles
BWC Profiles specialises in supporting businesses, from SME to bluechip, with the supply of plastic and aluminium extrusions*. Boasting over 23 years’ experience, the £12 million turnover organisation has a combined 55,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and stock-holding facility, and works alongside a network of industry giant partners to take on projects of all shapes and sizes. They’ve been working with the team in Northampton and Milton Keynes since 2019 and have seen a lot of change – for the better.
*Extrusion’s a technique where heated materials such as aluminium or plastic are forced through an opening to form a shaped profile.
A NEW CHAPTER
In 2017, BWC took the bold decision to reorganise their multiple businesses into a single site and bring everything ‘under one roof’ in Milton Keynes. Since then, we’ve been supporting owners, Mark Barker (Finance Director) and Danny Varley (Managing Director), with their business strategy and ongoing accounting requirements ever since.
As part of the strategic work with BWC’s founding shareholder Guy Barker, we advised him on his succession and retirement options, which led to a successful Management Buyout (MBO) in 2021. Being lead advisor on the deal, our Corporate Finance team identified specific structural changes that needed to be dealt with before the transaction could proceed, and subsequently managed those changes in a logical and tax-efficient manner.
Ensuring Guy’s wishes were aligned with those of the management team at the outset, everyone clearly understood their role and the onward future of the business. Without this level of understanding of the opportunity and possible risks at the early stages of an MBO, the transaction could have easily failed.
Commenting on the MBO transaction, Guy said, “I reached the decision that the time had come to stop getting excited about aluminium and plastic extrusion and to dedicate some time to a bit of rest and relaxation! To that end, I proposed to my senior management team that maybe they would like to engage in a Management Buy Out.”
Mark and Danny have now taken the reins and are moving the company forward with big plans for the future. With sales growing, they’ve got their sights set on becoming a £20 million pound turnover business in the next 3 years.
“We’re looking forward to a new chapter at BWC but ensuring the key tenants that bought this business success, remain the same. BWC has a strong financial footing and we’ve been recession proof for a number of years, so sustaining that will be key for us going forward. In the first full year of Danny and I taking ownership, we’ve seen 45% growth and we’re hopeful this rate of growth will continue through investing in other areas of manufacturing,” said Mark.
Danny added, “The business has changed enormously over the past few years. We now have a broader range of in-house ‘one-stop shop’ solutions for our customers. Within these four walls, across 55,000 square feet of space, we have plastic extrusion, injection moulding and profile fabrication facilities, as well as a large stock holding facility. Mark and I plan to continue growing this area of the business, and to strengthen our service offering even further with new technology and investment.”
UNTANGLING THE COMPLEXITIES
As the company’s seen considerable growth and change in their time of working together, Mark explains BWC’s a ‘unique’ customer of TC Group.
“We had a very complicated and ‘messy’ set of management accounts for a fairly small business, and we needed external support to help us untangle and consolidate many of the complexities, particularly around the way our entities are structured.”
“Each of our trading entities have their own meticulous manufacturing processes that needs to be accounted for in great detail. When an external auditor’s appointed to come in and look at those accounts, it’s fundamental they understand our processes thoroughly – and it’s far from easy. That’s why TC Group are so brilliant at what they do. They know what they’re doing, they understand the complexities of our business and you don’t have to constantly explain things to them – there’s no handholding at all.”
Mark Barker, Finance Director, BWC Profiles
Mark adds, “We’ve experienced a smooth and efficient compliance process across Audit, Accounts and Tax, as well as advisory services in Corporate Finance and Tax Advisory matters.
The whole relationship certainly feels more personal than what we were used to. You get a sense of continuity in team service delivery and a joined up approach. You’ve got all the right people around you when you need them. They just make your life a lot easier.”
Associate Director, Antonia Aldridge-Brown comments, “Mark, Danny and the team at BWC truly reflect the type of client we love to work with. It’s nice to look back and see how far the business has come in recent years culminating in the MBO last year. The real excitement however’s looking to the future. They’ve worked hard to lay the foundations which will allow them to kick on to the next level, and ultimately realise their growth plans. When you get to work with businesses and owners who have a real ambition to thrive, it ignites a passion in our own team to be there every step of that journey.”
“When taking on the audit for the 2020 year end, as a team we took the time to understand what qualities Mark and the rest of the BWC team were looking for in their chosen advisors and endeavoured to deliver this. With the assistance of Mark and the finance team we’ve been able to deliver a smooth audit process each year, providing recommendations to Mark at the close of each audit.”
TRUST’S A KEYSTONE OF GOOD BUSINESS
Mark goes on to say, “I have complete trust and confidence in the team to sense check my work and forecasts – there’s no one else in the business who can do this. The level of trust we have in the team today was built through working with the Corporate Finance team in the early days of the relationship when we were embarking on the MBO process.
“The security I felt with them transferred to other teams and individuals, for example their R&D team. If someone at TC Group’s going to support you with an R&D claim, you know it’s going to be done properly and within HMRC’s rules.
“And what I really appreciate is there’s no technical jargon. When we were looking to buy another business, the bank said this is great but we need someone to review it – we immediately chose TC Group. They were incredibly personable and disseminated information simply to everyone involved, but not only that, they also explained the flaws in the most unflappable manner. When you’ve got big decisions to make for the future of your business, this is really important.”
CONSIDERING A MANAGEMENT BUYOUT?
Private Equity houses have the funds to invest in ambitious businesses and founders are eager to reap the financial rewards that can result from taking a stake in their business. As such, owners should explore the MBO option as part of their succession planning as early as possible. This gives time to build the team and assess the viability alongside any other considerations.
It’s important to call on experienced Corporate Finance advisors who’ll explain the pitfalls and opportunities, and then guide you through the whole process – which can be long-winded and complex.
Finally, make sure you also use lawyers who are experienced in these types of corporate transactions so they can provide expert support and guidance in navigating the legalities of the deal.