The firm designed, installed, serviced and maintained air
conditioning systems for commercial and retail customers and property
developers. After trading for twenty years Gary decided to sell Delta
Environmental to a national facilities management firm, and turned to
Dufton Kellner for help with the process.
business had been growing at a gradual pace, with Gary solely running
the business at first, and subsequently bringing in a service and
maintenance manager and a new installations manager to allow him to
concentrate on the sales that would further expand the business. In
Delta's final five years of trading the firm gained momentum, and began
to overtake its similar sized competitors.
Gary began to notice a trend in the sector, as smaller firms were
swallowed up by the larger national corporations. Delta Environmental
were caught in a complex middle-ground, being bigger than their regional
counterparts, but smaller than the national air-conditioning companies.
Gary realised that if he continued to trade in the current capacity he
would have to downsize to effectively compete with the regional firms.
Alternatively he could strive to expand the business quickly into a
Gary identified a third option. As he wasn't prepared to go through
the period of financial discomfort that expanding the business would
entail, Gary decided that instead he would sell the business to a larger
firm capable of taking his company to the next level.
Dufton Kellner were recommended to Gary by his bank, who referred to
the firm as being able to provide sound financial advice to local SMEs,
with particular experience in providing advice on sales and
acquisitions. From his experience, Gary now believes that exit
strategies are a specialist niche of Dufton Kellner's.
"They held our hand throughout the whole process," he says. "They
were happy to have meetings at extremely short notice as and when we
needed them. There were three other minority shareholders involved in
the company at the time, and Dufton Kellner trod a very fine line in
providing impartial advice. Everyone seemed to get the confidence they
needed from the way they handled the situation. It was a fraught
process with many highs and lows.
"I was most impressed with the way they worked closely with the
corporate solicitor, forming a fantastic vital support network. They
also broke things down into packages of information that could be
understood by non-financial experts. They put in a lot of time and
effort when it was needed and I think if I'd have gone to a bigger firm I
wouldn't have received that level of client focus."