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How does one buy a company? GONE in 60 seconds

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  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    I once worked for a company that went through a sales process similar to what's being discussed, A competitor had been looking at the accounts for years and was very keen to buy it, the sole owner was getting very lazy/sloppy and myself and the other top guy had an off the record meeting with the guy that wanted to buy, he made promises, we took him at his word with a handshake. After he had bought the company (on a 3 year buyout turnover/profit related). He changed immediately, called me and the other guy in said he was going to cut the other guys salary by 1/3 and that he would keep his eyes on me! :o
    It was simply a case of me and other guy, sorting something else out then handing our notices in and gone within a month (along with 5 other members of staff) in the space of 6 months his turnover went from £5m to £500k, he totally underestimated the relationship clients had with myself and the other guy. Was a little sad though as previous owner who had to keep profits going for 3 years didn't cope very well with us leaving saying "what were we doing to him?"
    So remember Goo the 'real' power of the company could very well be the staff, use that power wisely.
    BTW, was the best thing I could ever had done in hindsight :)
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    " All the cars are paid for in cash! Who the f**k does that these days, especially fleet cars?"

    I used to work for a firm set up on venture capital to commercialise the results of government research in ag biotech. Millions in the bank. Promised much, spent extravagantly, delivered very little. They started out buying cars outright until they discovered somebody running a little scam come disposal time. They'd get 3 dubious low quotes from local dealers, buy the cars themselves and immediately sell on at a profit.

    They also used to pay for all the fuel. So of course people lived miles from the office and chose gas-guzzlers. They knocked that on the head the day I started! Which caused howls of protest from those who'd been abusing it the most (they carried on reimbursing my private mileage for a year, but kept it quiet)

    Then they suddenly started leasing cars and you could have anything you liked as long as it was an Escort!

    I got out before the money and bullshit ran out entirely...
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    My reason for highlighting fleet cars that are purchased is that I thought it was more efficient to lease them. It's a fixed monthly expense which normally includes servicing and tyres. At the end of the lease terms, car handed back and start again. Surely better than handing over £25k, knowing that it's already lost value before its drained it's first full tank of fuel, plus the unplanned maintenance etc.
    Ive never worked for a company that pays cash for cars and cash for everything.
    Whilst he's mad, the owner has thought of all eventualities. The firm has its own snow plough/gritter to ensure that all access roads are operational during ice and snowy conditions. It owns it's own laser cutting robots, but actually has a facility to make/mix the gas/chems needed to power the lasers. This due to the suppliers not being able to deliver during one particular bad winter.
    Since I've been there he's coughed up £150k cash
    for a solar array on the factory roof.

    It has now transpired that the owner has been showing potential suitors round the offices and factory for last couple of months. So it seems possible that negotiations are at advanced stages and his notice yesterday was probably more of a warning that we're going to have new overlords pretty soon.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 17,743
    Is the property worth anything? What about the assets?
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,997
    keef66 wrote:
    They also used to pay for all the fuel. So of course people lived miles from the office and chose gas-guzzlers. They knocked that on the head the day I started! Which caused howls of protest from those who'd been abusing it the most (they carried on reimbursing my private mileage for a year, but kept it quiet)

    My company pay personal fuel, we all live between 10 and 40 minutes away so it's not too bad. I drive everywhere at the weekends but they know that and don't seem to mind. Unfortunately I need a 4x4 and they are nearly all gas guzzlers, there's no derogation for 4x4s for work like their is for LGVs. Handilly a pickup is justifiable to taking things to site so junior-ish staff can afford the tax

    That re-selling scam sounds like a good one though :wink:
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 21,919
    HaydenM wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    They also used to pay for all the fuel. So of course people lived miles from the office and chose gas-guzzlers. They knocked that on the head the day I started! Which caused howls of protest from those who'd been abusing it the most (they carried on reimbursing my private mileage for a year, but kept it quiet)

    My company pay personal fuel, we all live between 10 and 40 minutes away so it's not too bad. I drive everywhere at the weekends but they know that and don't seem to mind. Unfortunately I need a 4x4 and they are nearly all gas guzzlers, there's no derogation for 4x4s for work like their is for LGVs. Handilly a pickup is justifiable to taking things to site so junior-ish staff can afford the tax

    That re-selling scam sounds like a good one though :wink:
    I am sure that the HMRC is grateful for your tax contributions on benefit in kind.
    You are paying this? :twisted:
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,997
    PBlakeney wrote:
    HaydenM wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    They also used to pay for all the fuel. So of course people lived miles from the office and chose gas-guzzlers. They knocked that on the head the day I started! Which caused howls of protest from those who'd been abusing it the most (they carried on reimbursing my private mileage for a year, but kept it quiet)

    My company pay personal fuel, we all live between 10 and 40 minutes away so it's not too bad. I drive everywhere at the weekends but they know that and don't seem to mind. Unfortunately I need a 4x4 and they are nearly all gas guzzlers, there's no derogation for 4x4s for work like their is for LGVs. Handilly a pickup is justifiable to taking things to site so junior-ish staff can afford the tax

    That re-selling scam sounds like a good one though :wink:
    I am sure that the HMRC is grateful for your tax contributions on benefit in kind.
    You are paying this? :twisted:

    Yeah, I pay tax on the car and the fuel for personal use. It is slightly different for a pickup (LGV) than it is for a car though so I pay a fixed rate
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,832
    PBlakeney wrote:
    HaydenM wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    They also used to pay for all the fuel. So of course people lived miles from the office and chose gas-guzzlers. They knocked that on the head the day I started! Which caused howls of protest from those who'd been abusing it the most (they carried on reimbursing my private mileage for a year, but kept it quiet)

    My company pay personal fuel, we all live between 10 and 40 minutes away so it's not too bad. I drive everywhere at the weekends but they know that and don't seem to mind. Unfortunately I need a 4x4 and they are nearly all gas guzzlers, there's no derogation for 4x4s for work like their is for LGVs. Handilly a pickup is justifiable to taking things to site so junior-ish staff can afford the tax

    That re-selling scam sounds like a good one though :wink:
    I am sure that the HMRC is grateful for your tax contributions on benefit in kind.
    You are paying this? :twisted:

    It's still a big perk if you do a lot of private mileage though. I had it for about 9 years and it easily out balanced the tax on a 60 mile per day commute and fairly normal levels of private mileage even with a fairly frugal car. I certainly noticed it when it was taken away in the recession.
  • crumbschiefcrumbschief Posts: 3,399
    I just go to a house with a lady of the knight,i find that is a good way to get a company.
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,997
    Pross wrote:
    PBlakeney wrote:
    HaydenM wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    They also used to pay for all the fuel. So of course people lived miles from the office and chose gas-guzzlers. They knocked that on the head the day I started! Which caused howls of protest from those who'd been abusing it the most (they carried on reimbursing my private mileage for a year, but kept it quiet)

    My company pay personal fuel, we all live between 10 and 40 minutes away so it's not too bad. I drive everywhere at the weekends but they know that and don't seem to mind. Unfortunately I need a 4x4 and they are nearly all gas guzzlers, there's no derogation for 4x4s for work like their is for LGVs. Handilly a pickup is justifiable to taking things to site so junior-ish staff can afford the tax

    That re-selling scam sounds like a good one though :wink:
    I am sure that the HMRC is grateful for your tax contributions on benefit in kind.
    You are paying this? :twisted:

    It's still a big perk if you do a lot of private mileage though. I had it for about 9 years and it easily out balanced the tax on a 60 mile per day commute and fairly normal levels of private mileage even with a fairly frugal car. I certainly noticed it when it was taken away in the recession.

    My car does about 27-32mpg so it is rather helpful I have to say, not that I would be driving a new 4x4 if I didn't need it for work. It's done 100k in 3 years, the majority is work but I easily do enough private miles to make it worth it, off to Glencoe skiing tomorrow courtesy of work :wink:

    We are heavily audited by clients, a potential buyer a few years ago and FCA regulated so for the sake of me saving a few bob it's not worth the risk, it's essentially pocket change to everyone other than me in the company anyway :(
  • PBlakeney wrote:
    I am sure that the HMRC is grateful for your tax contributions on benefit in kind.
    You are paying this? :twisted:

    Of course we/I do, its par for the course if the firm is run correctly. I just chose a decent Navara as my company "van".
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 21,919
    PBlakeney wrote:
    I am sure that the HMRC is grateful for your tax contributions on benefit in kind.
    You are paying this? :twisted:

    Of course we/I do, its par for the course if the firm is run correctly. I just chose a decent Navara as my company "van".
    I wonder how many people using "vans" have courage at the Panama papers?
    I don't have a problem with either viewpoint, but I see a window for hypocrisy.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    Well that's me and all my colleagues out of a job.
    Global email at 10am yesterday. Sold to a company with a bad reputation who already have a sales team infrastructure.
    Met with utter surprise amongst those in the construction industry.
    Basically it looks like they've bought my firm as a financial crutch. They are publicly listed and have been struggling with their own portfolio of companies. Share price has been gradually in decline. Dividends have been poor.
    Bought for only £12m. And we're left £6m in the bank account! So basically. Bought a firm that Turns over £5.5m per yer with pre tax profit of £1.5m, for a song. They turned over £40m and had pretax profit of £2m.
    That £6m will disappear off to the directors, shareholders and maybe the pension fund. But certainly not our pension fund.
    I've never been so f***ing angry over work.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,293
    Goo, I hope you're not out of a role as you have TUPE protection and i doubt any company who leads the merger will make the whole sales team redundant.No doubt there will be cost savings by removing duplication but you pool the combined business units and enter the restructuring process from there.

    Look at this the other way, You've just spent £12million on a acquisition which has to work. The needs of the business come first and that means taking the best staff forward in the new business. I've done the acquisition route and my senior manager executed the combined restructure and we needed to ensure that post restructure the people were the best of the business and at the same time it showcases to the new combined business your intention as an owner to be fair and transparent in trying circumstances.

    Since sales are the life blood of any business I doubt the customer facing element will be hit as customers will be equally as nervous so I'd say your position at least for the next 12 months is secure.

    On th e plus side, this disruption creates career opportunities

    BTW the figures you have provided are interesting if true but indicate nothing as to the value of net assets within the business. Oh and leaving the £6 million in the business is a tax efficient way of extracting the cash for the old owner.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    TUPE doesnt protect you from redundancy, its just a transfer of most of your existing employment contract to your new employer... who can lay you off, just as your old one can before TUPE, some employers try to say that redundancy terms are not contractual, however, employment tribunals have ruled other wise.
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    We've got a 'sales meeting' next week.
    If they offered me half years salary as severance I'd take it and go. But that's unlikely. I've 5yrs service so at best I'm looking at about 2 and half months of pay as I'm on a one month contract.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    Slowmart wrote:
    Goo, I hope you're not out of a role as you have TUPE protection and i doubt any company who leads the merger will make the whole sales team redundant.No doubt there will be cost savings by removing duplication but you pool the combined business units and enter the restructuring process from there.

    Look at this the other way, You've just spent £12million on a acquisition which has to work. The needs of the business come first and that means taking the best staff forward in the new business. I've done the acquisition route and my senior manager executed the combined restructure and we needed to ensure that post restructure the people were the best of the business and at the same time it showcases to the new combined business your intention as an owner to be fair and transparent in trying circumstances.

    Since sales are the life blood of any business I doubt the customer facing element will be hit as customers will be equally as nervous so I'd say your position at least for the next 12 months is secure.

    On th e plus side, this disruption creates career opportunities

    BTW the figures you have provided are interesting if true but indicate nothing as to the value of net assets within the business. Oh and leaving the £6 million in the business is a tax efficient way of extracting the cash for the old owner.

    That won't happen. Been here before. Worked for a great company that was sold to multi national. They already had various teams in place. Did the legal process of putting everyone on notice and went through the evaluations blah blah blah. Then kept all the staff from the parent and kicked out those acquired. But what they do first is a period of a few months to make your life unsettled in the hope that you'll jump. That'll be me then.

    BTW. This is manufacturing for the construction industry. It is in general run by awful people.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    They have to pay lip service to going through a process of "consultation" but at the end of the day they don't have to justify who they keep and who they make redundant. But from a business perspective they'd be mad not to take the opportunity to select the best people / get rid of the underperformers.

    Been through several mergers and acquisitions, generally working for decent companies who did it properly / as fairly as they could, and paying well over the statutory redundancy to the unlucky ones. Indeed at times it meant that some of the older, more experienced staff worked out that redundancy was the better bet and jumped ship as soon as the ink was dry on the cheque, and there'd be another frenzy of reorganisation.

    I've done 20 years here and if there's another round of rationalisation I'll be volunteering...

    Good luck with whatever comes your way Goo.
  • mouthmouth Posts: 1,195
    Mr Goo wrote:
    UK. All the cars are paid for in cash! Who the f**k does that these days, especially fleet cars. Plus. And you lot will love this. He only issued his staff mobile phone and laptops 3 years ago.

    There are people in the office with resignation letters in their desk draws. The problem for them and the advantage for him is that geographically he has them over a barrel. As there is hardly any other job opportunities in this town. He knowingly plays this. Hence there are staff earning the same salaries from 12 to 15 years ago. That's OK if you earn good money in the first instance. But many of my colleagues don't.

    Whoever takes over would have to do a route and branch job on the firm. And install a hierarchy of senior management and directors.

    Walk into a dealership, any dealership and tell 'em you want 6 cars, in cash, on service plans, paid for today and see what deal you get. Work out what each car will be worth in 3 years with a full dealer history, and subtract that from the cost. Added to that no limited mileage clauses and see where you're left. Seems like a reasonable way of doing business for me.

    Seems like the new owners will have no issue motivating the workforce. Door's over there if you don't like it. Show some potential and there are gonna be some spots opening up higher up the chain. Laptops and phones? He ain't legally required to provide them, and you know you need them. Course you're gonna buy it yourself.
    The only disability in life is a poor attitude.
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    Mouth wrote:
    Mr Goo wrote:
    UK. All the cars are paid for in cash! Who the f**k does that these days, especially fleet cars. Plus. And you lot will love this. He only issued his staff mobile phone and laptops 3 years ago.

    There are people in the office with resignation letters in their desk draws. The problem for them and the advantage for him is that geographically he has them over a barrel. As there is hardly any other job opportunities in this town. He knowingly plays this. Hence there are staff earning the same salaries from 12 to 15 years ago. That's OK if you earn good money in the first instance. But many of my colleagues don't.

    Whoever takes over would have to do a route and branch job on the firm. And install a hierarchy of senior management and directors.

    Walk into a dealership, any dealership and tell 'em you want 6 cars, in cash, on service plans, paid for today and see what deal you get. Work out what each car will be worth in 3 years with a full dealer history, and subtract that from the cost. Added to that no limited mileage clauses and see where you're left. Seems like a reasonable way of doing business for me.

    Seems like the new owners will have no issue motivating the workforce. Door's over there if you don't like it. Show some potential and there are gonna be some spots opening up higher up the chain. Laptops and phones? He ain't legally required to provide them, and you know you need them. Course you're gonna buy it yourself.

    Doesn't work like that. In the last takeover I was part of. I was responsible for managing MoD contracts plus others and doing good business. My colleague was working accounts in central London and winning contracts for major projects overseas like new airports in Africa and Middle East. We were pooled with two of the new owners who's job role was doing milk round with builders merchant branches. The consultation was a farce. No opportunity to discuss ones role. Just summoned. Mt colleague and I were given severance pack and gone. They just wanted to keep there own staff. And this is what will happen.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • Pull yourself together! What you present as fact are just assumptions. See it as an opportunity and take the chance to impress the new owner. Alternative way of owning the problem is to start the hunt for another job.
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    Pull yourself together! What you present as fact are just assumptions. See it as an opportunity and take the chance to impress the new owner. Alternative way of owning the problem is to start the hunt for another job.

    I'm very much pulled together thank you. The job hunt and interview processes are already in the pipeline. I've no interest in impressing the new owners, their reputation is poor and if I'm out in the field representing them, then my reputation is damaged. So early exit.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
    What company is it, Goo? If you're bad mouthing them and running for the exit, then you may as well "name and shame".
    Ben

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  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 11,201
    Line up your next job. Take the money, never jump early without the deal. Says a veteran of several exit packages.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 52,901
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Pull yourself together! What you present as fact are just assumptions. See it as an opportunity and take the chance to impress the new owner. Alternative way of owning the problem is to start the hunt for another job.

    I'm very much pulled together thank you. The job hunt and interview processes are already in the pipeline. I've no interest in impressing the new owners, their reputation is poor and if I'm out in the field representing them, then my reputation is damaged. So early exit.
    Early exit is probably what they want, saves them the severance cost.

    SC is right, you are assuming too much and being too pessimistic. With an attitude like that you could be a prolific contributor to your own Brexit thread :wink:
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,293
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Pull yourself together! What you present as fact are just assumptions. See it as an opportunity and take the chance to impress the new owner. Alternative way of owning the problem is to start the hunt for another job.

    I'm very much pulled together thank you. The job hunt and interview processes are already in the pipeline. I've no interest in impressing the new owners, their reputation is poor and if I'm out in the field representing them, then my reputation is damaged. So early exit.


    By all means have viable options in the background but I'd suggest you keep your powder dry for the moment.

    Reputations in business are usually subjective, ill-informed and completely wrong so why not wait and see how the landscape unfolds and the tone of communication from the new business? Trade talk is cheap and invariably wrong.

    Press the reset button on your beliefs and what you've heard and evaluate the situation yourself.

    If it is as bad you you suggest the owners will be in need of new talent to ensure the merger is a success and to lift the reputation of the combined business by being better then they are and thats a great aspect for any business to have.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Pull yourself together! What you present as fact are just assumptions. See it as an opportunity and take the chance to impress the new owner. Alternative way of owning the problem is to start the hunt for another job.

    I'm very much pulled together thank you. The job hunt and interview processes are already in the pipeline. I've no interest in impressing the new owners, their reputation is poor and if I'm out in the field representing them, then my reputation is damaged. So early exit.
    Early exit is probably what they want, saves them the severance cost.

    SC is right, you are assuming too much and being too pessimistic. With an attitude like that you could be a prolific contributor to your own Brexit thread :wink:

    I have colleagues that have worked for them. They don't have anything good to say about them. One of my current colleagues left them to join my 'old' current firm. He is distraught as he knows what they're like to work for. He says it's the worst possible outcome.

    I will not name and shame until I'm gone.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • Mr Goo wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Pull yourself together! What you present as fact are just assumptions. See it as an opportunity and take the chance to impress the new owner. Alternative way of owning the problem is to start the hunt for another job.

    I'm very much pulled together thank you. The job hunt and interview processes are already in the pipeline. I've no interest in impressing the new owners, their reputation is poor and if I'm out in the field representing them, then my reputation is damaged. So early exit.
    Early exit is probably what they want, saves them the severance cost.

    SC is right, you are assuming too much and being too pessimistic. With an attitude like that you could be a prolific contributor to your own Brexit thread :wink:

    I have colleagues that have worked for them. They don't have anything good to say about them. One of my current colleagues left them to join my 'old' current firm. He is distraught as he knows what they're like to work for. He says it's the worst possible outcome.

    I will not name and shame until I'm gone.

    So you hated your previous company, you hate your current company and hate the new company.

    Can I suggest you get a job in the public sector and join a union.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 24,241
    We get involved with quite a lot of technical sales teams for various construction products. FWIW, I've noticed that it's not unusual for people to move around from one company to another; one day they're selling paving systems the next week it's rooflights. I would guess that most of the skills are fairly transferable whether it's bricks or flooring or windows. This may be stating the obvious, but good luck finding something if that's the way it goes.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 52,901
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Pull yourself together! What you present as fact are just assumptions. See it as an opportunity and take the chance to impress the new owner. Alternative way of owning the problem is to start the hunt for another job.

    I'm very much pulled together thank you. The job hunt and interview processes are already in the pipeline. I've no interest in impressing the new owners, their reputation is poor and if I'm out in the field representing them, then my reputation is damaged. So early exit.
    Early exit is probably what they want, saves them the severance cost.

    SC is right, you are assuming too much and being too pessimistic. With an attitude like that you could be a prolific contributor to your own Brexit thread :wink:

    I have colleagues that have worked for them. They don't have anything good to say about them. One of my current colleagues left them to join my 'old' current firm. He is distraught as he knows what they're like to work for. He says it's the worst possible outcome.

    I will not name and shame until I'm gone.
    Youve already assumed above that you are out of a job so I rest my case about assumption and pessimism.

    Then advice above is sensible - get some options and alternatives warmed up and see what happens at the current place.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
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