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Gambit acts as a lead adviser on the sale of Clarks Modular Buildings

25 September 2017

A Cardiff-based company that specialises in the construction, hire and sale of modular buildings has been acquired by one of its senior team as part of a management buyout (MBO).

Clarks Modular Buildings was founded in 1951, starting out as suppliers of "jackleg" cabins to the construction industry. In the late 90s, the business moved into the hire and sales of modular buildings, with customers including several major utility companies and well-known construction businesses.

Following the MBO, the company has transferred into the ownership of brother-and-sister partnership Elissa Thomas and Ellis John.

Thomas worked for Clarks for a number of years, supporting managing director Ian Clark in operating the business, while John has helped to build up a number of successful businesses in recent years for a large PLC company operating in the construction sector.

Clarks will continue to focus on this sector as part of its growth plan under the new ownership, supplying modular buildings for use as site offices and to provide other facilities on large construction sites.

Former managing director Ian Clark will retain a 20 per cent shareholding and remain on the board, working closely with the new owners to support the business in its growth plans going forward.

"We have great plans to continue, grow and develop the business going forward and I am confident that my knowledge and contacts in the construction sector will open new doors for the company," said new owner Ellis John.

The new owners were advised by accountancy firm Broomfield & Alexanderand law firm Thomas Simon, with funding provided by NatWest.

The seller was advised by Gambit Corporate Finance and Berry Smith.

Tim Brotherton, from Gambit Corporate Finance commented, ‘We are delighted to have advised Ian on the sale of the majority of the business to Ellis and Elissa. The company has enjoyed significant success under Ian’s leadership over the past 25 years and the buy-out will enable that success to continue. We initially discussed several succession planning ideas with Ian and it was decided that a vendor instigated management buy-out would be the best solution. The deal structure has enabled Ian to realise the value in the business that he has grown whilst retaining a minority stake and passing the leadership onto a strong management team.’

Jessica Shipman, from funding partner NatWest, said the bank was pleased to support a succession plan for a long-standing customer.

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