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Warwick Ward moves to employee ownership

28 Jun 23 Warwick Ward (Machinery) Ltd has been taken over by its employees.

The Warwick Ward team
The Warwick Ward team

The Barnsley-headquartered Case and Terex dealership has been sold by the family that founded it in 1970 to an employee ownership trust (EOT).

Former owner-directors owners Ashley and Matt Ward will continue to take an active role, they said.

The sale price was not disclosed but the usual model is that the Ward brothers will be paid for their business over a number of years out of the profits. Once they have accrued the agreed sum, all dividends go to the EOT.  It is considered to be a tax-efficient way to sell a business.

In the year to 30th September 2022 Warwick Ward turned over £50m and made a pre-tax profit of £1.8m.

Ashley Ward said: “This is an incredibly exciting new chapter for Warwick Ward (Machinery) Ltd as we approach our 54th year of trading. Over the past six years or so my brother and I have been working on a succession plan for the future of the business and after a lot of research and consideration we feel that the EOT model is a perfect fit for both the business, our brand partners and for ourselves. It provides motivation for the staff, stability and continuity and ensures the legacy of Warwick Ward continues in the way we want it to.”

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He continued: “Over a substantial period of time, we have worked hard to put in place a fantastic senior leadership team in Simon Causier (commercial director), Matthew Godhard (operations director) and Russell Holmes (finance director) who are pivotal and responsible for the day to day running of the business. Matt and I continue to work closely with the senior team during this transition.

“The EOT model is incredibly exciting and motivational for all our driven and dedicated team as they are now all employee owners in the business, have representation on the trust board and will profit individually from the future success of the company.”

Commercial director Simon Causier said: “Having now been part of the management team for the last 15 years, it has been an exciting and successful journey for the company over that period. The way the business has evolved and grown over recent times has been phenomenal and everyone at Warwick Ward has a huge amount of pride in the company and utmost respect for Matt and Ashley and how they have strategically shaped the business since taking over from their father 23 years ago.

“The transition to being an EOT is a fantastic and exciting opportunity for all the staff and senior management team to now play a pivotal role in the future success and continued growth of Warwick Ward and we are all thrilled at the opportunities that lie ahead”.

Warwick Ward (Machinery) was founded in 1970 by Warwick Ward and has grown into one of the UK’s largest stockists and suppliers of new and used earthmoving and material recycling equipment.

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