GARY WINTER, CLEAN2GLEAM GROUP
Gary Winter is an entrepreneur who has built his businesses around a solid foundation. He started his prestige car valeting business about 20 years ago in various sites throughout London, the South East and South West of England and Charterhouse has helped Gary aim higher in some big projects and tenders as his business has evolved.
Gary says, “I’ve been working with David White and Charterhouse for a number of years and I have to say that they are the best advisors I’ve ever had. They’re not just accountants; they give expert advice on tax issues and business which has helped give me the confidence and knowledge to grow my business to where I am today.”
As his operations expanded Gary saw an opportunity to franchise the car valeting business and move into providing a first class mobile valeting and detailing service. Not satisfied with just cleaning cars, Gary branched out into both the marine and aviation market places. Clean2Gleam Marine was incorporated and now services many of the boat marinas on the River Thames. The aviation business has seen Clean2Gleam service a number of private airlines to become the fastest growing aviation detailing company in the south of England.
With the addition of these new companies and the franchises, a more comprehensive accounting system was implemented and Charterhouse are working closely with him on the use of his Xero accounting software and his enhanced booking system. Having dealt with setting up the franchise arrangements and the accounting operations of the two businesses Charterhouse continues to provide the Clean2Gleam Group with the solid accounting and taxation support needed to ensure that the companies are fully compliant with HMRC and Companies Act legislation.
Gary concludes, “I trust Charterhouse’s expertise and advice implicitly and the consistent professionalism and dynamism of the team in creating solutions which are the best for me, has justified my confidence in them. Everyone is very hands-on in their approach and I am more than happy to recommend them for other SMEs looking for a safe pair of hands to help them set up and grow their businesses.”
ANDREW TULLIE, SOPER OF LINCOLN LTD
One of our longest standing clients who owned a dealership that sells prestige cars, approached us in 2009 with a view to structuring a management buyout (MBO). The decision to proceed with an MBO rather than an outright sale was made in part due to the reluctance of banks to partner with purchasers due to the financial crisis at the time. We worked with the client and his successor, Andrew Tullie, in structuring a plan to enable Andrew to acquire the group in phases, partly using the retained profits of the business. We applied for clearance, which was granted by HMRC.
Over the next five years, Andrew managed the business and was critical to the increased profitability which enabled challenging targets to be met which allowed him to buy 50% of the business over the initial 5 year period. In 2014 the first phase of the MBO completed with Andrew owning 50% of the group. Based upon the improved trading performance and the track record built up by Andrew the group was able to take out a loan from the prestige manufacturer to allow Andrew to exercise his option to purchase the remaining 50% of the group, thus becoming sole owner.
“Charterhouse is a relatively small firm yet it delivers like a big company – you get an incredibly personal service as well as top-class advice and ideas on what to do for the best for your business. I was very impressed with their professional service during the MBO as they not only made everything very straightforward, nothing was too much trouble to explain and review.” says Andrew Tullie of Soper of Lincoln Ltd.
The MBO has facilitated the succession planning of a highly profitable business whilst maintaining the high standards required of the prestige manufacturer. The former owner was able to maximise the value received from the sale of the business and Andrew was able to purchase the business in a structured way with minimal risk to his own capital, all within the back drop of a severe financial crisis which limited finance available to SME borrowers.
As well as dealing with HMRC and the taxation aspects of the transaction Charterhouse managed the whole process from beginning to end with all parties including the prestige manufacturer. We are proud to have been able to work with Andrew to help him acquire the business and we maintain a strong relationship with him moving forward.
Andrew concludes, “I get real value from them and view the team as partners in my business. I can pick up on a conversation I had with them months ago and get up to the minute advice from a specialist straight away: everyone is very easy to get hold of when I have a question. The proactive advice on both business and tax planning and corporate governance that I’ve received has saved me a fortune over the years. They understand my complex business and make everything nice and easy for me so I really don’t know why I would ever want to use anyone else!
Phil Prosser HNW case study
When Phil Prosser found that he was enjoying working with start-up Cute Nutrition Ltd, he decided that he wanted to get more involved so that the company could benefit both from his business experience and investment. A very successful entrepreneur, who also owns several established businesses, Phil Prosser turned to Charterhouse for advice on how best to make his idea a reality.
Being a high net worth individual, we suggested the possibility of Phil making his investment under the “Enterprise Investment Scheme” (EIS) or “Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme” (SEIS). We discussed the requirements of EIS/SEIS to be met by the company and him as an investor, particularly the substantial interest rules.
The Company required funds in order to begin trading and the team at Charterhouse discussed the timing of the investment and the requirement that the newly issued shares must be fully paid up at that time. Phil also mentioned the possibility of making a loan to the company at some point so we pointed out the withdrawal of tax relief should an investor or an associate receive “value” from Cute Nutrition Ltd during the three years from the date of the share issue.
The founder agreed that SEIS would be the best option to attract investment in the company and also for the investors. Further funds were subsequently invested by Phil into the company and we advised on ensuring the requirements for SEIS continued to be met.
“Within two weeks from start to finish, David White had created an elegant way for my involvement and shareholding to be put in place to enable Cute Nutrition to grow. By spelling out all the pros and cons of the various options, everyone involved trusted him to deliver the best possible result. “explains Phil.
Our statutory team dealt with the share issues and our tax team, as well as advising on the above, dealt with the SEIS applications to HMRC. Our early involvement was vital to ensure Phil was aware of the conditions for SEIS so that his investment qualified for 50% tax relief.
Phil concludes, “One of the most valuable things about my relationship with Charterhouse is the fact that I am able to ask them any question knowing that they will answer it in a way which makes the way forward perfectly clear. They’re so approachable too: I can drop in for a cup of tea or send an email knowing that I will be listened to and advised professionally.
“I feel so comfortable using them that they not only handle my business affairs but also my personal financial affairs, such as pension planning, wills and personal tax. My recommendation is when you have even just a glimmer of an idea related to finance, go to Charterhouse and talk it through with them before you go any further.”