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Livery Dole launches employee share scheme amid MBO

Celebrating its 2016 Mitsubishi milestone (left and right): Livery Dole sales consultant Peter Ackford, chairman Nigel Clegg, sales and marketing director at Mitsubishi Motors in the UK Toby Marshall, managing director Hayden Williams, service manager Chris Ellison and workshop manager Andrew Godbeer

Livery Dole is set to be acquired in a management buy-out (MBO) that will formalise an employee share scheme at the Devon-based Mitsubishi Motor UK retailer.

Managing director Hayden Williams and sales manager Joe Chatting have teamed-up with company secretary Diane Slater and workshop controller Chris Veitch to buy-out long-standing owner Nigel Clegg in the deal which is expected to be completed on February 20.

Clegg is set to retire from the business which was established back in 1923 and acquired by him in an MBO 35 years ago.

Back in 2016 the facility, on Trusham Road, Marsh Barton, received an award in recognition of its 25 years of service with Mitsubishi Motor UK.

The latest buy-out will formalise a employee share scheme that has been in place at the group – which achieved an AM Best UK Dealerships To Work For listing in 2018 – for the past four years.

Speaking to AM this week, Williams, who has been at the group for 17 years and in his current post for the past five, said: “The current owner acquired the business in an MBO and he was keen to see it passed on in a similar way.

“It’s a tough time to be sinking your life savings into a business, but from my point of view I know that what we are getting is a strong, profitable business at which 60% of custom is return trade and we’re really optimistic about the future.”

Livery Dole already sees its 24-strong workforce gain a share of the business’s profits on a quarterly basis, according to Williams, but the new share scheme will see each receive a formal share of the business under its new management team and an additional share for each year they remain with the business.

“We have an amazing team where the average term of service is 10 years and we wanted to take the opportunity to ensure that they all felt they had a personal investment in the business.The scheme mirrors those run by John Lewis and Waitrose," said Williams.

“I recently handed out a 36-year long service award. They are an amazingly loyal bunch and I think that the share scheme will help foster that sense of pride in the business that will help us to continue delivering great customer service.”

Williams said that there were no plans to deliver sweeping changes within the business, however, and said that customers would get the same high level of service from familiar faces.

The dealership has plans to host a celebration showroom event, including the chance to win a car, from March 5 to 9.

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