A Midlands company, which trains people in handling mechanical equipment, is keeping it in the family after changing ownership following its 40th birthday. Lee Cox has purchased an 85 per cent stake in Train-a-Lift Limited, a family-run business based at Charter Avenue Industrial Estate in Coventry, from his second cousin, David Brown in a six-figure deal.
Lee will work alongside his cousin and other shareholder Steve Brown, while David Brown will continue to work within the business in a new role.
Train-a-Lift was formed in 1977 on Torrington Avenue by Lee’s great uncle Jim Brown, and has grown into a business that is turning over £850,000 a year from hundreds of private and commercial clients, including household names such as Rolls Royce and Britvic.
The firm employs 11 full-time staff – who run a range of training courses on-site and around the UK on the use of equipment such as forklifts and cranes, as well as instructor courses, otherwise known as ‘train the trainer.’
Lee was assisted with the purchase of the business by the corporate finance team at chartered accountants and business advisers Harrison Beale & Owen (HB&O).
This included advice on the valuation of the business, negotiating the terms and structuring the deal. HB&O introduced Thursfields Solicitors to handle the commercial legalities.
Lee’s new role as Managing Director comes five years after joining the business to help out with the operational side of the firm, ranging from administration through to quality assurance.
The 32-year-old said: “Train-a-Lift has always been a family business so I am also honoured to keep this record going. I’m proud of the tremendous job the entire Train-a-Lift team has done in getting the business where it is today, and of the enviable client list we have built.
“Since I was a young boy playing in the trees outside Train-a-Lift’s training centre with my younger brother I have always dreamt of being involved in the family business, so I am really excited to be given the opportunity to work alongside my cousin Steve and the rest of the team to develop the firm even further.
“The number of courses and clients we have are steadily growing year-on-year, but we are keen to diversify the business even further and look at other training courses in areas such as first aid and fire safety.
“We are seeing a spike in the number of people wishing to be trained as instructors, as well as a marked uptake in training for gantry cranes and other equipment from beyond the company’s traditional forklift truck remit. Our new auditing and monitoring service for instructors is also generating a lot of interest.”
Greg Philp, Head of Corporate Finance at HB&O, worked on the deal with Lee over an 18-month period.
He added: “To see a family-run business going from strength-to-strength after this length of time is a fantastic testament to the company and the people behind it.
“Lee and David had been planning this handover for some time, but were in need of advice on how to make it happen.
“We were able to help Lee through the whole process with a complete service, from understanding the valuation of the business and negotiating a sensible deal through to getting the right structure in place.
“To help Lee take the business to the next level, we are continuing to provide financial advice and help identify further growth opportunities.”
Tim Edwards, Senior Associate at Thursfields Solicitors, added: “We are delighted to have advised Lee with his purchase of Train-a-Lift. We wish him all the best for the future and look forward to supporting the business as it continues to grow.”