Employees take ownership of Vantastec

Buying a business

Vantastec, the UK’s leading fridge van, temperature controlled vehicle and conversion specialist, has become employee-owned as the Ystrad Mynach-based business prepares for further growth. 

With funding provided by the Development Bank of Wales, all 38 employees now form part of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) that takes a 51% stake in the business that was first set-up by Directors Colin Smith and Gareth Edwards in 2006. Vantastec was advised by GS Verde.

Operating throughout the UK, Vantastec specialise in refrigerated van conversions but is expanding rapidly with a range of catering vans including bespoke vehicles for meals on wheels. As the only provider in Wales, Vantastec works with all major manufacturers and is increasingly selling electric vehicles to a client base that includes both the private and public sectors.

Director Gareth Edwards said: “Colin and I saw a gap in the market and have since developed Vantastec to become the UK’s leading provider of temperature controlled vehicles. We pride ourselves on our quality, building vans that stand the test of time.

“Our team has been central to our success so we were keen to ensure that they have the opportunity to share in our future growth. The Employee Ownership Trust model is a great way to retain staff, develop skills and ensure accountability for quality as we grow. It was the Development Bank that helped us in the early days of setting up the business and it is now thanks to their support that we’re able to look to the future knowing that we’re all a part of the Vantastec family.”

Senior Investment Executive Ruby Harcombe and Investment Executive Emily Jones said: “Our funding for this Employee Ownership Trust gives all employees a significant and meaningful stake in the business that they have helped to grow over the last 16 years. It’s a great step forward for the Directors and staff alike, underpinning greater employee engagement and keeping jobs in Wales in the longer-term should the Directors choose to exit at a later date.”

The £216 million Wales Business Fund is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government. Loans, mezzanine finance and equity investments are available for deals between £50,000 and £5 million. Terms range from one to seven years for small and medium-sized businesses (those with less than 250 employees) based in Wales, or willing to relocate to Wales.”