Vendor initiated management buy-out funded by the Development Bank of Wales

R Lewis

The founding Director of Cardiff based fire protection specialist company R Lewis & Co (UK) Ltd has announced a vendor initiated management buy-out (VIMBO) after 25 years in business.

Established in 1997 by Roger Lewis, R Lewis & Co is an award winning and fully accredited provider of passive fire protection solutions. Roger will remain as Managing Director with a minority shareholding to ensure a smooth transition to sons Chris and Jonathan Lewis along with fellow Director Craig Cleveland. A six-figure loan has been provided by the Development Bank of Wales.

With turnover in excess of £5.3 million, R Lewis & Co employs some 80 staff and has a nationwide customer base that includes Wilmott Dixon, Kier, Bouygues and the NHS. Services include passive fire protection surveys, fire stopping, fire engineering and consultancy, intumescent coatings, fire doors and specialist coatings.

Roger Lewis said: “With over 25 years of experience in passive fire protection, we continue to invest in skills and knowledge to improve the overall performance of our UK wide services. We believe that training and accreditations are of paramount importance in order to maintain our place at the top level of the fire protection industry in the United Kingdom. It is this ethos that underpins all that we do.

“Growing a business is a journey and I’ve always been very clear about my destination; bringing on and developing an excellent senior management team who now have the opportunity to take our business forward. I’m very proud of all that we have achieved and delighted that it is my two sons who will work alongside Craig as the next generation responsible for leading R Lewis & Co.”

Chris Lewis said: “Quality is at the heart of our business and that will always be the case. We take great pride in our work and it is testament to my Father’s leadership that Craig, Jonathan and I are now ready to lead our excellent team as we embark on the next stage of our journey.

“The flexible funding and expert advice from the Development Bank has enabled us to agree a package that works for all involved. We’re excited about the future and look forward to growing our services and our team with the ongoing support of my Father as Managing Director.”

Matthew Wilde of the Development Bank of Wales said: “Roger and the team have built a very successful business that benefits from an exceptional reputation. Succession management is all about forward planning; investing in the right people and taking the time to coach and mentor them so that the transition is seamless.

“Our funding will help to ensure the continuity of the business with a phased approach to the handover from Roger to Chris, Jonathan and Craig over the next few years. We are delighted to have the opportunity to help facilitate this vendor initiated management buy-out and support them on their journey.”

Mark Hislop of Advantage Accountancy advised Roger Lewis with Blake Morgan acting for the Development Bank of Wales. Mark Hislop added: “Having acted for Roger since 2016, I have been pleased to support the development of this long established, award winning and consistently profitable business. With a clear exit strategy, Roger has worked hard to implement a successful succession plan and I knew that the Development Bank would be keen to offer their support. As experts in succession, their flexible funding packages are perfect for business owners and management teams who are looking for an efficient completion.”

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