Castleford-based Peugeot dealership Peter Ambrose (Castleford) Limited has transitioned to become an employee-owned business after Peter Ambrose, founder and joint shareholder, sold the firm to the newly formed Peter Ambrose (Castleford) Trustee Limited.
Peter Ambrose established the business in 1999. Over the past 23 years it has grown to become one of the region’s leading dealerships thanks to its extensive range of new and used cars and commercial vehicles. On average it sells 1300 vehicles each year and has an annual turnover of c£25m.
Creating an employee ownership trust (EOT) provides a great way for business owners to sell a controlling stake in their company to realise their value whilst passing the company into long term employee ownership. The EOT is operated by trustees, and the beneficiaries are the employees of the company at any given time.
Peter Ambrose commented: “It’s a very exciting time for the company with lots of opportunities as we move into a new age that will be more and more dominated by electric and hydrogen vehicles. I knew I was going to sell the business one day, but I wanted the structure to be right and the option of creating an EOT really appealed to me. We’ve always put our people at the heart of our operations so this option felt like a natural transition as the business will remain in the hands of those who have made it what it is.
Peter added: I originally bought the company from Peugeot 22 years ago under a management buyout scheme so it feels like we’re coming full circle as the employees will have a similar opportunity to further grow the business for the benefit of our customers as well as current and future staff. I will continue to work closely with the management team, supporting them to ensure we continue to develop and maintain our philosophy of putting the “Customer First” in all our transactions.”
Jane Parry, managing partner and head of tax at PM+M, and Jonathan Cunningham, manager in the tax team, provided tax and transaction advice to the company, the shareholders and the trustees of the new EOT.
Jane Parry said: “EOTs are an increasingly appealing option, offering many benefits for both the business and its employees. We were delighted to play our part in helping the business transition to employee ownership and we very much look forward to seeing it flourish under its new ownership.”
Muckle LLP partner Adam Rayner led on the main legal aspects of the deal including the establishment of the EOT as well as advising the Ambrose family on the sale of the business to the trust. He was supported by Julie Garbutt, partner in the private client team, and Hayden Richards, corporate solicitor.
Adam said: “We were delighted to act for Peter and help with the continuation of the successful business in its new chapter under employee ownership. This is a fantastic step for the company, and I look forward to witnessing its continued growth. We wish Peter, the business and all its employees every success in the future.”
Brabners provided additional legal advice for the Trustees, whilst Tony Tinker of TT Business Services Ltd delivered accounting support.