Aberdeen window and door supplier eyes bright future after sale to staff

An Aberdeen firm that supplies major construction operators with windows and doors has completed its move to becoming an employee-owned business.

International Doors and Windows (IDAW), which was set up in 2006, is currently based at Mugiemoss Road in the city but is looking to expand and grow its main operation in the coming months to a bespoke facility nearby.

The firm also operates in the Central Belt and in the north of England from its offices and showroom in Cumbernauld.

The company’s main shareholders, Garry Davidson and Scott Paterson, agreed their own exit plan should focus on what was in the best interest of their staff and clients, leading to the formation of an employee ownership trust (EOT) to sell their shareholding.

Their move secures the future of the business in the longer term and rewards a 12-strong team who – with the support of a large contractor base - have contributed to the firm’s success, the bosses said.

Davidson said: “This is a great business and I’m delighted with how much we have achieved over the years. As Scott and I looked ahead to retirement in the future, we were considering our options.

“A sale to a trade buyer was the most obvious option and would likely have delivered a more lucrative outcome for us as shareholders. But we knew that wasn’t what we wanted. We have an amazing team here and some very sound customer relationships.

“By selling to an EOT we hope this will continue and the company will go on to even greater things under the stewardship of the staff.”

Members of the team at Aberdeen-based International Doors and Windows Ltd.

Paterson added: “Some of our staff have been with us since day one. By taking this route, we know the company will be in safe hands for the future. It really is the best outcome for all parties involved.”

The transaction was advised on by accountancy and business advisory firm Azets amid a growing number of businesses choosing to adopt the EOT model. Legal advice for the transfer was provided by Blackadders.

Azets’ head of corporate finance in Scotland, Graham Cunning, said: “A sale to an EOT was the perfect succession solution for Garry and Scott. Both want to phase their exit from the business, confident that the company will continue to grow and flourish.”

Peter Duff, corporate partner with Blackadders, who headed up the legal team, said: “We are seeing an increasing number of business owners choosing a sale to an EOT as their exit strategy. The model certainly ticks a lot of boxes, providing a tax effective exit for the shareholders and minimal disruption for employees and customers.”

Carole Leslie of Ownership Associates, who provided specialist employee ownership advice for the deal, said such moves were thriving in the area.

Aberdeen is home to a number of successful employee-owned companies such as Woollard & Henry, Accord Energy, Houlder Marine and several others,” she noted.

“It has been such a pleasure working with IDAW on its transition. It is a great business with a very positive future - this really is good news for the employees and customers of IDAW.”

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