Hannaby seals CB Refrigeration buy-out


28 July 2020
Tom Hannaby with Jason Beament at CB Refrigeration Tom Hannaby with Jason Beament at CB Refrigeration

Tom Hannaby has completed the management buy-out of Caerphilly-based CB Refrigeration.

Hannaby joined the business four years ago and will work alongside directors Jason Beament, Andrew Hall and Simon Beament as Managing Director and majority shareholder. Funding for the seven-figure MBO has been provided by the Development Bank of Wales, with specialist succession planning support provided by Mervyn Ham of Iridium Corporate Services.

Founded in 1968 as a small family business, CB Refrigeration initially supplied and serviced commercial refrigeration equipment. Jason Beament, Andrew Hall and Simon Beament acquired the company in 2016 and have since developed the business alongside their electrical installation company, Ayjay Group. Together, they now provide a full refrigeration and air conditioning turnkey solution. With continued growth since 2016, CB Refrigeration now specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of bespoke refrigeration solutions for a diverse range of sectors across the UK, including retail, hospitality, industrial and pharmaceutical.

Hannaby will lead the team of 20 staff to deliver further growth. He said: “From day one of joining the business, I have worked closely with the directors to make the right investments to deliver our long-term goals. We’ve remained focussed on delivering our growth strategy and sourced the expert help of an excellent advisory team to ensure that we had the right support and headroom to grow.

"We’ve got a great business and we’ve remained resolute in our collective ambition to do what’s right for the business and our people. The support of the Development Bank of Wales and Mervyn Ham of Iridium has really helped us to get to where we are today, particularly as Covid-19 could have disrupted our plans.”

Jason Beament, Group Director at CB Refrigeration, said: “We acquired CB Refrigeration in 2016 and then appointed Tom with a remit to help us grow the business. He has played a key role in transforming the organisation over the last four years and worked closely with us to introduce new ideas and efficiencies that have improved performance and market share.

"With the help of our advisors we’ve been able to develop and deliver an exit strategy that ensures absolute continuity for our staff and customers. Our ongoing support as directors means that we will continue to work closely with Tom and the new management team as they prepare for the next phase of growth.”

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Continued support

Ruby Harcombe of the Development Bank of Wales said: “This really is a textbook case of a successful phased management buy-out and we’re particularly pleased that the transaction progressed during lockdown. The directors worked closely with their senior management team to initiate the buy-out and prepare for the handover in a timely manner. They will now remain closely involved to ensure continued support.

"Working with the team, we are delighted to have provided the necessary funding and have every confidence that the business will continue to thrive as they forge ahead with great determination and resilience. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

Mervyn Ham of Iridium added: “These are difficult times for many businesses. Now more than ever, it is those with carefully considered and well-prepared succession plans that will achieve the best managed exit strategies.

"Coronavirus meant that the vendors and the buyer pressed pause at the point of lockdown, but after their re-assessment of risk and analysis of the market situation the business was diverse enough to redirect resources into other areas. This was underpinned by the robustness of the business and its team. With a modified structure to reduce risk on all sides, we’ve been able to work together with the team at CB Refrigeration and the Development Bank of Wales to agree a structure that works for all and safeguards the long-term success of the business.”

Hannaby was advised by Bethan Darwin of Thompson Darwin.