Selling my business with Burgis & Bullock

Keith Bibb attended an exit planning workshop led by experts from Burgis & Bullock Corporate Finance, The Wilkes Partnership and Margetts Wealth Management in 2018.

After 15 years of being the majority shareholder of Barton Storage Systems, he was considering an exit from the business.

The company is a trade only distributor of storage, materials handling, access equipment, and related products based in Bilston, West Midlands.

Keith attended the workshop to seek advice on the valuation of his business, and three years later, he completed the sale of the business with support from Burgis & Bullock and The Wilkes Partnership in 2021.

The business

Barton Storage Systems was established in 1964 and Keith Bibb joined the business as a warehouse manager in 1984.

He progressed through the ranks and he became managing director in 1999. Alongside two other managers in the company, he acquired a majority stake in the business via a management buy-out in 2003.

Keith, alongside his team, successfully grew the business to be a leader in the storage equipment manufacturing sector and reached £5 million sales in 2018 – doubling the sales from the time of the MBO in 2003.

At the age of 60, Keith began to consider his exit from the business and the two minority shareholders (sales director and operations director) were keen to remain with the business.

It was at this point that Keith attended the exit planning workshop, and he discusses below why he attended and what he gained from the confidential, free workshop.

Attending the business sale planning workshop

Keith Bibb: “It was always my intent to exit the business by the time I was 65 and I started to think about that in 2018.

“Margetts were my financial advisers at the time and they introduced me to the exit planning workshop.

“My main concern was how to get an accurate valuation of the business. I wanted to understand the process and the correct procedures to follow when selling a business.

“This process needed someone completely independent. I didn’t know Burgis & Bullock or Wilkes before that meeting, but they played a vital role in the sale of the business.

“It was three years before I sold my shares in the business. Despite the business flourishing throughout Covid, it seemed like the right time for me to step away. I trusted Simon Chapman from Burgis & Bullock and Rick Smyth from Wilkes after the workshop, so approached them to support the next steps.”

The result

Keith Bibb: “I engaged Simon to work on a proper evaluation of the business and brought Rick in who helped immensely on the legal side.

“The valuation was extremely professional. Simon came up with three valuations based on different criteria and we were able to work with the other side of the deal to agree on the middle valuation.

“I would certainly recommend people go to the workshop if they are considering selling their business. It gives you certainty and peace of mind that you are doing the right thing. Whether you have a rough idea already of your options, or if you are coming in completely cold, the workshop will provide valuable knowledge on how to get to the next stage.”

Simon Chapman added: “Based on the advice and insights from our workshop, the directors evaluated the potential options, including a trade sale. 

“Ultimately, they decided that a secondary management buyout would be the best solution as it would allow Keith to exit from the business and enable the two other managers to acquire full ownership of the business and implement their plans to take it to its next stage of development.

“As there was no marketing of the company to other buyers, its value needed to be established. Burgis & Bullock Corporate Finance carried out a valuation of the company which set the basis for the structure of the buy-out, with Wilkes providing legal advice.”

Next workshop: Wednesday, September 27, 8am.

The next business sale planning workshop will take place at 8am on Wednesday, September 27. For more information or to make a booking email Simon Chapman on

Experts from Burgis & Bullock, corporate law firm The Wilkes Partnership and financial planners Margetts Wealth Management will share knowledge and advise on how best to prepare and sell a company in order to maximise wealth.

The free-of-charge round-table discussion will take place at The Wilkes Partnership’s office on Church Street in Birmingham.

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