South Yorkshire Machinery Specialist Makes the Move to Employee Owned

June 27, 2023

A leading specialist of earth moving and recycling machinery, based in South Yorkshire, has announced it has become an employee-owned company.

Warwick Ward (Machinery) Limited, established in Barnsley in 1970, employs approximately 120 people at sites in Barnsley, Bromsgrove and Harlow, and is one of the largest stockists and suppliers of new and used earthmoving and waste recycling equipment and spare parts in Europe. Warwick Ward represent three globally recognised machinery brands across large parts of the UK: Case, Terex Ecotec and Keestrack.

Joint owners, Ashley Ward and Matthew Ward, sons of founder Warwick Ward, have each transferred the majority of their shares in the company to a newly launched Employee Owned Trust (EOT), Warwick Ward EOT Ltd, as part of a long-term succession strategy for the business.

As a result, employees of Warwick Ward will all profit individually from the future success of the company and benefit from representation on the board of trustees. No jobs are at risk as a result of the transition, and both owners will continue to take an active role in the business.

Part funded by Virgin Money, the move to employee owned was carried out with support from Hentons Corporate Finance and Hentons Legal (Vendors), Hawsons, Pierce Corporate Finance and Leonard Curtis Law (Company).

Ashley Ward, Joint Managing Director at Warwick Ward, said: “This is an incredibly exciting new chapter for Warwick Ward as we approach our 54th year of trading. Over the past six years my brother and I have been working on a succession plan for the future of the business and, after a lot of research and consideration, we feel that the EOT model is a perfect fit for the business, our brand partners and for ourselves. It provides motivation for the staff, stability and continuity and ensures the legacy of Warwick Ward continues in the way we want it to.

Over a substantial period of time, we have worked hard to put in place a fantastic senior leadership team in Simon Causier (Commercial Director), Matthew Godhard (Operations Director) and Russell Holmes (Finance Director) who are pivotal and responsible for the day to day running of the business. Matt and I will continue to work closely with the senior team during this transition.”

Simon Causier, Commercial Director at Warwick Ward, said: “Having been part of the management team for the last 15 years, it has been an exciting and successful journey for the company over that period. The way the business has evolved and grown over recent times has been phenomenal. Everyone at Warwick Ward has a huge amount of pride in the company and utmost respect for Matt and Ashley and how they have strategically shaped the business since taking over from their father 23 years ago.

“The transition to being an EOT is a fantastic and exciting opportunity for all the staff and senior management team to now play a pivotal role in the future success and continued growth of Warwick Ward.

We are all thrilled at the opportunities that lie ahead.”

David Burgess, Director of Business Banking at Virgin Money, said: “Warwick Ward is a well-known family business and the move to being employee owned is a natural step for the company, providing succession whilst keeping the family’s legacy.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Matthew, Ashley and the team, supporting them with the cashflow finance package to help fund the move to being employee owned, and also provide the working capital needed for the business to continue to grow.”

Chris Sellars, a Director of Hentons Corporate Finance said: “Warwick Ward is a fantastic company with a proud heritage. From a personal perspective I have enjoyed working closely with Ashley and Matthew to help create the structure to support the successful succession of the business. As a team we have supported the transaction from both an advisory and legal perspective and wish the business continued success”

To learn more about Hentons Corporate Finance and get in touch with a team member, please click here.

Chris Sellars

Chris leads a team specialising in M&A and financial Due Diligence services.

With a proven track record of successful transactions, Chris brings extensive deal experience and operational knowledge to assist clients in achieving their business objectives.

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