Overcoming the barriers to buying out founders

Overcoming the barriers to buying out founders
Employee-owned businesses can boost engagement, motivation and well-being – but finding the funding isn’t always straightforward.

There are a number of routes to being your own boss. One is to come up with an idea for a new business. The other is to buy out an existing successful business. 

At BCS, an outsourced IT support service based in Kent, employees bought out the founders of the company in 2018. Since becoming 100 percent employee-owned, the business has been named as one of the UK’s top 25 managed service providers and scooped a Responsible Business Champion Award. 

Why did BCS need Swoop? Jo Lewellyn, Finance Director at BCS says: 

“BCS moved to a 100 percent employee-owned business with a loan from the founders of the business. After the first few years of paying the founders’ loan, we felt it would be beneficial to source the funds commercially to release the founders of any obligation to our company.”

Pretty open and shut, you might think. But Jo explains why the company ran into a funding roadblock: 

“As an employee owned company, we have no documented shareholders and the structure of the business along with the employee owned trust part of the company meant things were not straightforward. This unique setup meant it was difficult to source funding through the normal channels available.”

Jo approached Swoop to investigate whether there were any lenders prepared to help. Tom Hawley and Chris Richards, Funding Managers at Swoop, got on the case and presented Jo with exactly what she needed: a competitive choice of lenders, ready and enthusiastic to lend BCS the funds they needed. 

For Jo, the outcome was exactly what she wanted:

“Thanks to Tom and Chris at Swoop, we were able to complete our loan and pay off the founders of the business. At BCS we like our customers to know there are some things they can confidently leave to the experts. When it comes to funding, we took our own advice and left it to the experts at Swoop.”

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