Azets advises International Doors and Windows team on employee ownership solution

Azets advises International Doors and Windows team on employee ownership solution

Graham Cunning

An Aberdeen firm which supplies major construction operators across Scotland has completed its move to becoming an employee-owned business, advised by accountancy and business advisory firm Azets.

International Doors and Windows Ltd (IDAW), which was set up in 2006, is looking to expand and grow its main operation in the coming months to a bespoke facility nearby Aberdeen.

IDAW also operates in the central belt of Scotland and in the north of England from their offices and showroom in Cumbernauld, providing quick access to Glasgow, Stirling, Edinburgh and the north of England.

The firm’s main shareholders Garry Davidson and Scott Paterson agreed their own exit plan should focus on what was in the best interest of their staff and clients. In the end the pair decided on an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) to sell their shareholding.

Their move secures the future of the business in the long term and rewards a 12-strong team who – with the support of a large and strong contractor base - have contributed to the company’s success.

Mr Davidson said: “This is a great business and I’m delighted with how much we have achieved over the years. As Scott and I looked ahead to retirement in the future, we were considering our options.

“A sale to a trade buyer was the most obvious option and would likely have delivered a more lucrative outcome for us as shareholders.

“But we knew that wasn’t what we wanted. We have an amazing team here and some very sound customer relationships.

“By selling to an EOT we hope this will continue and the company will go on to even greater things under the stewardship of the staff.”

Mr Paterson said: “Some of our staff have been with us since day one. By taking this route, we know the company will be in safe hands for the future.

“It really is the best outcome for all parties involved.”

The transaction was advised by accountancy and business advisory firm Azets who have advised on a growing number of progressive businesses choosing to adopt the employee ownership trust model. Legal advice for the transfer was provided by Blackadders.

Azets’ head of corporate finance in Scotland, Graham Cunning, said: “A sale to an EOT was the perfect succession solution for Garry and Scott. Both want to phase their exit from the business, confident that the company will continue to grow and flourish.”

Peter Duff, corporate partner with Blackadders, explained it will also ensure a smooth transition.

Mr Duff said: “We are seeing an increasing number of business owners choosing a sale to an EOT as their exit strategy. The model certainly ticks a lot of boxes, providing a tax effective exit for the shareholders and minimal disruption for employees and customers.”

Carole Leslie of Ownership Associates, who provided specialist employee ownership advice for the transaction, said such moves were thriving in the area.

Ms Leslie said: “Aberdeen is home to a number of successful employee-owned companies such as Woollard & Henry, Accord Energy, Houlder Marine and several others.

“It has been such a pleasure working with IDAW on its transition. It is a great business with a very positive future – this really is good news for the employees and customers of IDAW.”

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