Going… going… gone! Auctioneers becomes an employee-owned business

01 August 2023

A Warwickshire based auctioneers has become an employee-owned business after its owner passed on the gavel to his colleagues.

Dennis Talbot, owner of auctioneers and valuers Warwick and Warwick, has passed on full control of the business to its workforce thanks to the creation of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). The company, which specialises in collectibles including stamps, medals, vintage toys and coins, was established in 1958.

The EOT means all employees with at least twelve months’ continuous service will become a beneficiary of the trust, entitling them to share in the ownership and profits of the business for as long as they remain at the company.

It is hoped that the transition into employee-ownership will drive the business forward by putting employees at the heart of every decision while protecting the legacy of Warwick and Warwick.

Dennis Talbot joined the business in 1981 and has owned the company for over 40 years. Having transferred 100% ownership to the employees, he now plans to step back and enjoy retirement.

The current management team will remain in place and operations will continue in their current form to ensure a smooth transition into new ownership.

Dennis Talbot said: ‘Warwick and Warwick has a terrific team and it has been a pleasure to work with them over the years. Amending ownership to the employees is a natural step and one which will benefit all of the present and future team, as well as Warwick and Warwick’s customers.’

Martin Cooper and Emily Sloane from the Reward and Incentives team at leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK advised on the deal, providing transaction support to Dennis Talbot and the company on its move into employee ownership.

Leading the team, Simon Moulton, partner at RSM UK, said:

‘Having worked with Dennis for several years, the team at RSM understood how important the legacy, which he has built up and worked so hard to achieve, remains with the loyal employees.

‘Succession is an important issue for business owners and supporting the opportunity to adopt an EOT secures that legacy. Dennis was adamant the business remains in the safe hands of those who are crucial to its future success. Warwick and Warwick is a business focused on creating a strong culture and supporting its employees, so employee-ownership felt like the logical next step. As stakeholders, the employees have now become beneficial owners of the business.

‘We wish Dennis, his family and the new owners of the company every success in this new chapter.’

Legal advice was provided by Dov Black, Rebecca Mills and Paul Stedman at Manchester-based BBS Law.