A controlling stake in the holding company of a Birmingham based IT solutions provider has been sold to an employee ownership trust, in a deal led by the transactions tax team at PKF Smith Cooper. The completion marks the team’s second EOT transaction within the technology sector in the past three months.

Our client

Birmingham based business Port-P Limited was co-founded by Mark Paget in 1994, with Aaron Harte joining shortly afterwards. The two men worked successfully together to create the leading provider of both cloud based and ‘on prem’ IT solutions that exists today, boasting an array of household name clients located across the length of the UK.

How we helped

The PKF team was led by Tax Partner Adam Rollason, who provided tax structuring advice on the deal and sell-side tax support to the selling shareholders.

Jane Jevon and Christina Conlan of Legal Clarity provided buy-side legal advice to the trustees of the EOT on this transaction.

What our client had to say

Mark Paget commented: “In the year in which we celebrate our 30th birthday, it seems fitting to take the first step in the next stage of our journey. The business has been built on the foundations of our incredible team, and it feels amazing to recognise and reward them all in transitioning towards full employee ownership.”

The specialist support and guidance provided by the team at PKF Smith Cooper was invaluable in getting the transaction completed within our desired timeframe, and we thank them for all of their efforts over the last four months.

Mark Paget, co-founder of Port-P

The result

A controlling stake in the holding company of Port-P Limited (Wopple) was sold to an employee ownership trust, as the directors begin the transition to full employee ownership.

Adam Rollason said: “I am delighted to have been able to help Mark and Aaron achieve their collective vision for the future of the company. I have no doubt that the business will continue to flourish under the new ownership structure, and I am excited to follow their journey.

Whilst employee ownership will not work for every business, it is clearly becoming more prevalent in the tech sector. This is the second EOT transaction which we have completed in three months (with Griffiths Waite the first), and we are continuing to meet similar businesses that are considering employee ownership as a genuine succession planning option.”

Need help buying or selling a business?

In 2023, our Corporate Finance division helped clients across the Midlands secure 22 deals worth a combined £276.7m. With global reach and regional knowledge, we offer industry-leading advisory services for businesses in a wide range of sectors. Our experienced dealmakers and transactional tax experts know how to get the best possible outcomes for every client.

If you are thinking about buying or selling a business, now or in the future, get in touch with us today.

Experts that advised on this deal

Adam Rollason

Tax Advisory Partner