Deal

FRP helps Denny Bros transition to employee ownership

Employee-owned trust acquires majority stake in The Denny Bros Group

Independent printing solutions specialist, The Denny Bros Group has become employee-owned following a strategic review carried out by our Corporate Finance team.

The group, which is best known for inventing the world’s first multi-page label, have become majority shareholders in Denny Bros Holdings Ltd following the creation of an employee ownership trust (EOT). The move is expected to preserve the independence of the family-run group, with its existing second-generation leadership team set to remain heavily involved in the running of the business for years to come.

While maintaining the legacy and wishes of the group’s founding members, the creation of the EOT will provide enhanced benefits for the group’s 100+ employees as they continue to grow its £8 million turnover and support customers in key sectors including healthcare and agriculture.

The decision to enter into employee ownership was reached following a strategic review of the business delivered by a team including Corporate Finance Partner, Dave Howes and Senior Managers Adam Croft and Matt Field.

The team was instructed to present all of the options available to ensure long-term stability for the group, with the intention that the Denny family would remain heavily involved for many years to come. We identified that the implementation of an EOT would provide the legacy continuation that the shareholders desired, alongside job stability and the enhancement of benefits to all of the employees.

We were engaged to finalise the workings of a detailed financial model for the combined group (incorporating numerous trading subsidiaries, investments and property assets), drafted and submitted tax clearances to HMRC, prepared a detailed share valuation for the group and the new trust company, approached funders and secured excellent debt terms with Barclays in order to support the transaction.

We worked alongside Birketts on the sale of shares to the EOT and the governance of the trust in order to achieve the desired outcome.

Barry Denny, Chairman of The Denny Bros Group, said: “Our business was founded 75 years ago on the values and family principles of my father and uncle as Britain emerged from the challenges of the Second World War. It’s therefore important to me that, as this generation emerges from its own period of global and domestic upheaval, we continue to uphold their legacy while driving the business forward. Becoming an employee-owned business is the perfect way to do so and will empower and reward each and every person who contributes to its continued success. We have ambitious plans to deliver further growth over the next 10 years and I look forward to this new model helping us to achieve them.”

Dave Howes, Corporate Finance Partner at FRP, said: “This deal represents an important milestone in the long-standing history of The Denny Bros Group and means its future will remain in the hands of its employees for decades to come. Employee ownership trusts have risen in prominence in recent years as business owners continue to plan sustainable, long-term exit strategies that add stability to already successful business models. Combined with attractive tax rates, the enhanced benefits for employees mean that the approach should continue to gather pace among SME and family-owned organisations where the ability to leave a positive and lasting legacy is so important.”

Related team

Dave Howes

Dave Howes

  • Partner
  • Corporate Finance
  • Norwich

Matt Field

Matt Field

  • Director
  • Corporate Finance
  • Norwich