Meals firm’s sale tips are food for thought for Peterborough business leaders

From left, Alistair Hunt of Saffery Champness, guest speaker Steve Rawlinson and Steve Brown, of Barclays.
From left, Alistair Hunt of Saffery Champness, guest speaker Steve Rawlinson and Steve Brown, of Barclays.
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Tips for selling a major business proved to be food for thought for senior business leaders from the Peterborough area.

Chief executives and directors of about 20 companies attended a prive dinner to hear Steve Rawlinson, chairman of Oakhouse Foods, talk about the highs and lows of selling a big business.

He was guest speaker at an entrepreneurs forum organised by accountants Saffery Champness and Barclays Bank and held at Prevost Peterborough restaurant, in Priestgate.

Mr Rawlinson, who was co-owner of home meals service Oakhouse Foods until its sale in 2017 to Kerry Foods, said: “Business owners considering selling need to ensure their accounts and operational processes are whiter than white to pass the due diligence process to avoid giving a buyer a reason to knock the price down.” If you get a good offer, don’t be greedy as you never know what the future might hold. My advice is also to make sure you appoint a team of advisers who will support you. You’ll need an outstanding corporate lawyer, an accountant and someone who will help you invest the sale proceeds wisely.”

The event was hosted by Alistair Hunt and Fenella Martin-Redman from Saffery Champness and Steve Brown and Mark Harrod from Barclays Bank.

Mr Hunt, partner at Saffery Champness, which acted as advisors and accountants to Mr Rawlinson and Oakhouse Foods, said: “I am extremely pleased that Steve was able to share with us his experience and knowledge, as well as some of the more emotional aspects that a business owner will go through having taken the decision to sell their business.

“Most business owners will only sell a business once or twice in their life and often they have no one to ask how to do it.

“Hearing Steve’s story I hope has given some food for thought and some new business relationships or networks have been formed.”

Mr Brown said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to bring our clients together this evening to hear the story of Oakhouse Foods. Barclays is committed to supporting businesses in the local area to realise their strategies for growth, creating jobs in our community.”