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Pembrokeshire home improvements company completes management buy-out

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Local businessman Karl Symmonds has completed the management buy-out of Tru-Plas, the home improvements company based in his home town of Haverfordwest.

Financed by a six-figure loan from the Development Bank of Wales, the management buy-out has enabled former owner and Director Rhys Hoddinott to handover Tru-Plas to Karl who first joined in 2018 and has since been responsible for the management of the business.

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Rhys will remain involved in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition with customers and suppliers.

Established in 1991, Tru-Plas is a well-respected home improvements company that specialises in PVCu doors, windows, conservatories and porches throughout Pembrokeshire and South Wales. The company benefitted from the support of the Covid-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme in 2020 to help manage the impact of the pandemic on the business and turnover is now on target to reach £1.2 million in 2021/22.

Since completing the management buy-out, Karl has already opened a new 100 square metre showroom and set-up a uPvc trade counter selling windows, doors, fixings, adhesives and accessories on a supply only basis.

Rhys Hodinott said: “We’ve built Tru-Plas with a philosophy that is focussed on people, product and punctuality. Indeed, we have always been very proud that we have so much repeat business from our customers who also take the time to refer us to their family and friends.

“Karl has been an integral part of our success over the last few years. I am delighted that I am now able to handover the business to him knowing that it is in a safe pair of hands and that he will continue to look after our much-valued customers with the same care and commitment that they have always known with Tru-Plas.”

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Karl Symmonds said: “As a local person, I knew before joining the business that Tru-Plas has an impressive reputation for its friendly and professional customer service. My job is to now build on this excellent foundation as we continue to deliver for our customers throughout South Wales.

“We’ve got lots of exciting plans including the opening of our new 100 square metre showroom that will offer a great customer experience with dedicated car parking and we’ve opened a uPvc trade counter. But if it weren’t for the Development Bank of Wales then this deal simply wouldn’t have happened.

“It’s the first time that I’ve ever bought a business or been part of a management buy-out so I was naturally a little nervous about the process. However, the help and guidance from the Development Bank and our advisors meant that I was worrying unnecessarily.

“It really couldn’t have been any more straight-forward and I’m so grateful that we had the support of the Development Bank because they really are experts in structuring finance for management buy-outs. Their understanding of the art of the possible when it comes to funding options is pretty impressive.”

Ruby Harcombe, Investment executive for the Development Bank of Wales said: “This has been a lovely management buy-out to work on with a great team of people who have all supported each other and focussed on getting the deal done in a way that is best for all parties including customers.

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“Management buy-outs are often a preferred form of succession planning as they offer vendors a quicker completion and they are usually the least disruptive type of succession as is the case with Tru-Plas. We’re delighted to have provided the funding that has enabled Rhys to reap the rewards of his hard work over the years and we wish Karl every success as he embarks on his journey as the new owner of Tru-Plas.”

The funding for the management buy-out came from the £204 million Wales Business Fund. Financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Government, loans, mezzanine finance and equity investments from £50,000 to £2 million are available for businesses with fewer than 250 employees based in Wales, or willing to relocate to Wales. Terms range from one to seven years.

Financial consultants Carrie Barford and Emma Owen-Davies of Barford Owen Davies advised Tru-Plas along with Cardiff-based McTaggart Solicitors.

Carrie Barford said: “It’s been a pleasure acting as lead advisors on this management buy-out, working closely with the Tru-Plas management team and the Development Bank to structure the deal. We’re also thrilled to be supporting Karl and the team as they begin their next exciting chapter of growth and success at Tru-Plas.”

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