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Change of Ownership at Expect Distribution through MBO

In a move which ensures business continuation, the majority shareholding of Expect Distribution has been sold by Robert and Neil Rushworth who founded the company 34 years ago.

The highly successful transport and warehousing provider has been acquired by two established board members Andy Taylor, Operations Director and Matthew Kilner, Financial Director who start 2022 at the helm with Neil Rushworth remaining as the Managing Director in the short term who will also retain a minority shareholding of the company.

New joint owners Andy Taylor and Matt Kilner, joined Expect Distribution in 2015 and 2019 respectively and have been instrumental in the outstanding growth and profitability of the business which was established in 1988 by the Company Chairman Robert Rushworth and which has since expanded from 2 vehicles at the time to a fleet of 140 vehicles and a turnover of £40m in 2021 with 3 warehousing sites in West Yorkshire, capable of storing 70,000 pallets.

Discussions Developed Quickly

Neil Rushworth explained that discussions about a possible MBO only started early in 2021.

“The board held a strategy meeting in Q1 and Andy and Matthew expressed some interest in continuing the Expect success story through an MBO and things developed pretty quickly from there.

Over many years we have created a highly-respected business and despite having external suitors who were interested in buying Expect we found it difficult to imagine any parties who would understand and run the company with the same ethics and unique formula that we have created over the time that the family has owned it.

This is a business at the top of its game, and we are widely recognised for high levels of quality service and we are confident that Andy and Matthew will continue to lead Expect in a manner which is familiar to both our employees and our customers."

Some of the company’s clients include FMCG providers – Boost Drinks , Astonish, national retail chain Card Factory as well as customers in various sectors such as Construction, Pharmaceuticals, Automotive and Office Furniture upon which Andy Taylor commented;

“From the nationally recognised Card Factory to some of the UK’s well known FMCG companies, Expect Distribution has some exceptional partnerships with our clients with a focus on value added service.

“As we approach 35 years in business, achieving a turnover of nearly £40m and employing over 360 employees as well as winning Haulier of the Year three times with the Motor Transport Awards, the only UK haulier to win the award in two consecutive years, we’re as efficient and innovative as any competitor, with the in-depth industry knowledge and expertise that our clients need and appreciate.”

Matthew Kilner added: "We would both personally like to thank Neil and Bob and their vision and dedication which has created the business we have today. Regarding the company’s expansion and growth plans, we couldn’t be more excited to be working with our team to achieve and execute the company’s growth plans going forward and we intend to continue that organic growth which will see Expect grow by a projected 15-20% in 2022.

“The transport industry and specifically recruitment will remain a challenge in the coming year but the strength of Expect is within its diversity and we have some big plans underway to expand our warehousing facilities which will provide an additional 16,000 pallet spaces in March this year.

“We are proud to be taking Expect Distribution into a new era and we are committed to continuing this great success story.”

The acquisition process was successfully backed by funders Shawbrook Bank in the deal which was for an undisclosed figure. Legal advice was provided by  Leeds based Clarion.

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