United Auctions Group, the Stirling-based livestock auctioneering and procurement business, has completed a management buyout, with George Purves, Christopher Sharp, Donald Young and John Roberts fully acquiring the business from its previous owners Robin Tough, Neil McLean and David Leggat. The former directors will continue to have non-executive, advisory roles in the company, which has over 30% of the Scottish livestock sales market.
The buyout was supported by finance from HSBC. The new owners are to build on the company’s 160 years of business by investing in a growth strategy supported by HSBC and upgrading the firm’s premises. “United Auctions already has a strong presence in Scotland, which forms the core of our business,” says finance director Christopher Sharp. “The financial package from HSBC allows us to uphold this presence, and will also be used to maintain and secure our service offering to customers, and implement our strategy for future growth. For the entire United Auctions team, continuing our reputation of offering the best service possible is vital, and we are very excited to start putting our plans into action.”
HSBC says the funding is part of the bank’s national £10 billion fund to support UK SMEs. Some £450 million of this money is specifically designated to support Scottish companies and to help rebalance the economy outside London. Nigel Kerr, relationship director at HSBC in Scotland, comments: “United Auctions is a longstanding and well respected agriculture business in Scotland and we have worked closely with the new management team to ensure a successful buyout and facilitate plans for further growth. This is an exciting time for United Auctions and we look forward to supporting future growth plans.”