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Case Study – Nigel Tyas Ironwork

Buying a business at any time involves an element of risk, but buying a business at the onset of a global pandemic is something else.

Our clients, Dan and Gareth, completed their acquisition of blacksmiths, Nigel Tyas Ironwork in mid-March 2020, shortly before the UK entered into an unprecedented period of lockdown.

After 20 years, the owners of Nigel Tyas decided to bring in a new generation of owners. Dan already had a long association with the company being a farrier himself and first learning his blacksmithing skills there before going off to college. Going into partnership with his brother Gareth, who has extensive skills in business administration and product development is a perfect formula for driving the business forward.

During the transaction, Dan and Gareth had received the benefit of a successful handover with the previous owners, meaning that upon acquisition, they had a good knowledge of its workings and, importantly, were able to keep the business going in the absence of employees and other workers.

Furthermore, by undertaking a thorough due diligence review, Dan and Gareth also had employee information to hand, which was crucial when analysing the effectiveness of financial assistance, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

But, perhaps the key reason the business has continued to operate throughout the pandemic is because it already had an established online retail offering. Because Dan and Gareth acquired the company, rather than the assets, all domains, registrations, hosting, e-merchant facilities etc. stayed with the company and were unaffected by the transfer. This can be a key reason for deciding to acquire by way of shares, rather than by assets, as these registrations and contracts are preserved.

When considering the acquisition of a business it is essential to consider the assets you need to acquire and the importance of retaining registrations, contracts, licences etc.

This may dictate the way in which you structure the transaction. Follow that up with extensive legal and financial due diligence to identify any potential areas of risk, and you acquire a business with as much knowledge as possible so as to hit the ground running.

Dawson Radford specialise in business acquisition, whether that be by acquisition of shares or assets. We take the time to explain the process to our clients, whether they are first-time purchasers or seasoned acquirers. We work alongside them and the seller’s solicitors in a collaborative way to ensure that important points are negotiated with care, and “lawyer points” don’t take centre stage. As a small but efficient team, we develop good working relationships with our clients, which extend way beyond the original acquisition.

Speaking of their experience with Dawson Radford, Gareth comments “Dawson Radford are a great team – friendly and approachable at all times, they worked efficiently throughout our transaction. We would definitely recommend them. A pleasure to deal with, many thanks for the support.”

If you are thinking of acquiring a new business, or growing an existing business by acquisition, speak with us before agreeing on terms. We can talk you through how best to structure a deal and the points you need to focus on during negotiations.  Arrange a telephone appointment with us by calling 01246 932 100 or email us here.

Nigel Tyas Ironwork are based in the South Pennines North of Sheffield, a small independent company committed to keeping traditional metalworking skills alive in the UK.

Their exclusive, traditionally made wrought iron lighting, curtain poles and fire irons are handmade to order at Bullhouse Mill and supplied directly to locations around the world.

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