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Having worked his way up from trainee to managing director, Gary Squires has become a majority shareholder of Rotamic Engineering Ltd following a management buyout (MBO) supported by PKF Francis Clark.
Based in Exeter, Rotamic is a specialist engineering company, which manufactures a diverse range of components for high technology sectors including aerospace, medical and scientific applications. The company supports these sectors by the specialist use of multi-axis machinery, inspection equipment and software processes. During the Covid pandemic, Rotamic pivoted and became a key supplier in the ventilator and Covid testing programmes.
Gary has been instrumental in the success of Rotamic for many years and completing the MBO is recognition of that.
The company employs more than 30 people and has links to local colleges to support its long-standing apprenticeship scheme.
Gary Squires has been MD for the last five years, having started at Rotamic as a trainee 27 years ago. The MBO sees him take a 95% stake in the business, alongside fellow director Andy Snell. The deal was the culmination of a succession strategy for exiting shareholder and former MD, Mark Curtis.
Matt Willmott at PKF Francis Clark acted as lead adviser on the deal for the MBO team. Shawbrook provided a seven-figure commercial loan to support the buyout.
Gary Squires, MD of Rotamic, said: “Having worked at Rotamic since I left school, it was incredibly important for me to ensure the longevity of the business and our staff going forward. I’m thankful to former owner Mark Curtis for his stewardship during his tenure and wish him all the best moving forwards.
“From a young age, it was always my ambition to own my own business, and this wouldn’t have happened without the support of Matt and PKF Francis Clark. Going from owning a 5% share to 95% seemed like an impossible dream at first. People said it would be hard to get the funding, but Matt’s feasibility study showed me what was possible. In the end we had a choice of multiple funders, and Matt helped me to choose the one that was best for the business and the deal. From deal structuring through to the negotiations, his support has been excellent.
“Inevitably there were a few challenges along the way, and I don’t think this deal would have happened without Matt’s patience, focus and professionalism. He kept a level head throughout and helped me to keep believing in what I wanted to achieve. I can’t speak highly enough of his thoroughness and responsiveness.
It was always my ambition to own my own business, and this wouldn’t have happened without the support of Matt and PKF Francis Clark.
“The key difference for me with PKF Francis Clark is the communication, so much so that we’ve decided to appoint them as our accountants after our experience of working together on this deal.”
Gary added: “Since I started with Rotamic as a 15-year-old while I was still at Okehampton College, I’ve always been passionate about what we do here. After I joined the business full-time, I went to night school at Exeter College to study CNC engineering. The former owner saw something in me and I’ll never forget he said to me ‘One day, you will own this place’, but I never thought it would happen.
“The management buyout was a big undertaking but PKF Francis Clark broke the project down into stages, which gave me comfort that I wasn’t taking too much risk at the outset if it fell through. I would highly recommend PKF Francis Clark to anyone considering an MBO, acquisition or raising finance.”
Matt Willmott, corporate finance director at PKF Francis Clark, said: “It’s been a real pleasure to work with Gary over the past year and to advise on the entire management buyout process, including undertaking an MBO feasibility study, deal and tax structuring, negotiations and raising finance for the deal. I’m delighted that we could get the deal over the line, with funding provided by Oliver and the team at Shawbrook.
“Gary has been instrumental in the success of Rotamic for many years and completing the MBO is recognition of that. We look forward to seeing the business grow from strength to strength.”
Oliver Jenkins, director at Shawbrook, added: “We were very impressed both with Gary’s leadership and that of the entire senior management team at Rotamic. Supporting businesses onto their next stage, whatever that is, is our bread and butter, and I’m proud that we have been able to support this local, and highly specialised business. Our thanks in addition to Matt at PKF Francis Clark who played an instrumental role in getting this deal across the line.”
Simon Smith at Clarke Willmott LLP provided legal counsel to the Rotamic team. Suzanne Love at Shoosmiths acted for Shawbrook.
Read about more deals PKF Francis Clark has helped to make happen.