Here's what Tony had to say:
I came across Cooper Parry some years ago when I was part of a management buyout of the business in 1987. We did this with the assistance of Prior & Palmer, who then merged with Cooper-Parry to form Cooper Parry Prior & Palmer. So, if you think Cooper Parry Corporate Finance is a mouthful, imagine trying to say that!
We continued to ask for business and tax advice from the firm and got to know the corporate M&A people. For a while they would ask “What are your plans for the future?” at all our meetings. Eventually I thought…
"I ought to be making a sale. Let's have a chat.”
We got together, talked about the possibilities and Andy said he knew someone who was interested. We got in touch with the buyer, did a marketing exercise, created an invitation to tender and an IM and then we kicked off the process.
We considered others
We considered others. But we always had a strong leaning towards Cooper Parry Corporate Finance. You knew a lot about us. The wider firm handled our tax. You had a comprehensive understanding of our business and had shown you were interested in us as people.
The firm’s facilities were very useful too. We were able to meet at the firm’s airport offices to meet prospective buyers. Andy, the team and I would also have strategy meetings together where we’d work out what was best for us and the business.
We really appreciated keeping it confidential until after the work was done
Keeping everything confidential meant none of the existing team was stressed, upset or worried. It meant we carried on trading perfectly well. That in itself is some kind of art.
Sally and Niall looked after things on a daily basis. They were very attentive, helpful and responsive. The buyer due diligence was handled very swiftly, and we moved on to a rapid conclusion on the deal.
You introduced us to people we could trust
One of the most important things was that I believe you introduced us to people we could trust. This was very important to us as we wanted to find an appropriate business - some of our staff had been with us for 30 or 40 years. I needed to be able to look them in the eye and say, ‘It's in great hands’.
I intended to step down but then people started getting in touch
After the sale had gone through, lots of other heating and plumbing businesses started getting in touch with me to see what we’d done and how we’d done it. So, Plumbing and Heating Investments asked if I would carry on. And I agreed to in a fashion.
We were the first company they'd bought in the plumbing and heating distribution space. I was made Chief Executive of the company and I've since worked on four other acquisitions. We're now the largest independent plumbing and heating merchants outside of the four national operators.
I’ve also continued my relationship with Cooper Parry as my wife and I are Cooper Parry Wealth clients.
Because I've been such a long-standing client of Cooper Parry’s, I knew some of the Cooper Parry Wealth financial planners. My wife and I went over to meet them. We were impressed by their presentations, plans and how much they got to know us. We’re very happy with the outcome and continuing relationship