Raised Floor Solutions (RFS) was seeking to adopt an employee owned model to ‘future proof’ the business and the jobs within it. Graham Hewitt, Co-founder and Managing Director of RFS, said: “Last year we received several approaches from competitors and private equity firms keen to buy the business. As attractive as those offers were, they highlighted how important it was for us to ensure that, whatever happened in the future, the business ethic would continue, and our staff would be well looked after.”
Praetura Commercial Finance was invited to provide a £2,500,000 funding line, enabling the shareholders of RFS Group, the parent company of Raised Floor Solutions, to transfer a 51% majority shareholding of the business to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) set up for the benefit of current and future employees.
Graham Hewitt, who co-founded the business in 2003, will remain Managing Director and a shareholder, and will also be on the Board of Directors of the Trust along with Construction Director, Andy Wharton, Anthony Richardson who joins as Finance Director and Malcolm Edge, former UK Vice Chairman of KPMG.
Mr Hewitt commented: “Praetura Commercial Finance were straightforward to work with and had a transparent and straight-talking approach. They proved to be very responsive throughout the process and the time from initial contact to completing the facility drawdown took less than 4 weeks.”
“An Employee Ownership Trust can be viewed as a direct alternative to a management buyout but you are involving all of your employees rather than a select few in the future of the business. The revolving facility delivered by Praetura Commercial Finance is an ideal structure in that it moves in line with the growth of the business, without the need to renegotiate terms. It also offers flexibility, without the ties and covenants of a traditional fixed term bank loan.”
Confidential Invoice Discounting
Sale of majority stake to
Employee Ownership Trust (EOT)