Management in line to go independent

PERTH - Terms have been agreed for United Auctions to become an independent, private company through a management buy-out from Property Group, Elphinstone.
calendar icon 16 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

It is intended that, subject to the completion of final legal agreements, the sale of the company to its management team for an undisclosed sum, will be concluded by the end of January, 2007.

The announcement comes two years to the day of Elphinstone’s acquisition of United Auctions plc for £52 million. United Auctions was subsequently de-listed from the Stock Exchange and has continued to trade successfully under Elphinstone’s stewardship.

United Auctions is the largest auctioneering and procurement specialists in Scotland, operating a network of marts throughout Scotland.

The company’s management team, led by Executive Chairman David Leggat and Joint Managing Directors Neil McLean and Robin Tough, will continue to work closely with Glasgow-based Elphinstone, which has made substantial investment commitments in the business.

Among these is a £10 million commitment to build a new state-of-the-art mart which, subject to planning permission, would house United Auctions headquarters operations. Other investments have included a £350,000 facelift of Huntly market.

David Leggat, Executive Chairman of United Auctions said: “A management buy-out is a great opportunity and we’re delighted to be able to take the business forward independently in an exciting new phase for us. Elphinstone have been tremendous and we’re pleased that Ken Ross has agreed to be a non-executive director on our board. We look forward to working together and continuing an excellent relationship, which has developed over the past two years.”

Ken Ross, Chairman and Chief Executive of Elphinstone, said: “We are pleased that the management team want the opportunity to take the auctions business forward on their own. We will continue to support them through the planning process and, hopefully, the construction of a new mart at Hill of Drip. Also, Elphinstone will continue to support and fund United Auctions’ pension fund.

“The acquisition of United Auctions was an important strategic step in growing our asset base and widening the regional spread of our activities in Scotland. We have been very impressed by the management team and the way they run this highly specialised business. With two solid years’ trading behind them and the prospect of a new headquarters mart at Stirling, the business is in a strong position.”

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