22/02/2016

Established Port Talbot building contractor looks to build for future following management buy-out

A £1.1 million loan from Finance Wales has helped the management team of one of South Wales’ leading building contractors to buy into the business.

The purchase will see Jistcourt South Wales’ (Jistcourt) owner Robert Norman sell a majority stake in the business to the ten-strong team which includes his daughter Emma and son James.

Mr Norman started working for Jistcourt in 1986 before buying it in 1993 and turning it into a successful and diverse construction company employing 83 staff at its Baglan base.

Today, Jistcourt undertakes a range of design, build and refurbishment projects for social landlords and local authorities and has also completed successful education, health, commercial and industrial developments.

Having attended a seminar on succession planning jointly hosted last year by PwC and Finance Wales in Swansea, Mr Norman contacted Finance Wales to discuss funding options when he decided to take a step back from the well-established business.

“I’ve invested a great deal of time and effort turning Jistcourt into the business it is today. While I wanted to make sure I benefitted from this, Jistcourt is a family business with a loyal, local workforce and I also wanted to make sure it had a long-term future.  Last year’s succession seminar helped me understand how to prepare the business and the management team for the sale.

“Finance Wales’ funding, expertise and support enabled the existing management team to buy a majority stake in Jistcourt and I’ve stepped away from the day-to-day running of the business.  The business is now safe in the hands of a strong management team who work well together and will successfully drive the company forward,” Robert Norman explained.

Under Robert Norman’s leadership Jistcourt has grown into a highly regarded construction company capable of completing a wide range of high-quality developments. 

Jistcourt’s new owners now plan to strengthen and expand key aspects of the business while maintaining and developing key customer relationships built up over 35 years. With a number of long-term frameworks in place the company is keen to expand its customer base in other parts of Wales.

PwC acted as corporate finance advisers for the company. Head of Corporate Finance, West and Wales, Marc Davies said: "Congratulations to Rob and the team on a fantastic result. Jistcourt has been an important client of PwC Wales for many years and we are delighted to have advised on this deal.

"Further to our series of succession seminars held jointly with Finance Wales, we continue to promote the importance of planning for succession.  Achieving a great outcome on this deal, supported by funding from Finance Wales, is recognition of the hard work and careful planning performed by the team at Jistcourt."

Investment Executive, Alun Thomas, who worked closely with the team at Jistcourt to structure Finance Wales’ investment, said: “Robert has built up a well-regarded business over the last two decades and he’s now ready to enjoy some of the fruits of his labour.  He’s also been able to create a legacy for his children Emma and James who now have a stake in the business.

“Jistcourt is an established and profitable construction company with the potential to continue expanding.  The ambitious team who’ve bought into this business have worked for the company for a long time and they have  the right mix of experience, knowledge and passion to drive the business on to even greater success.”

Finance Wales continues to work with ambitious Welsh managers keen to own their own business.  “Buying an established business is well worth considering if you’re keen to own your own business and there are lots of options.  Jistcourt is an excellent example of a vendor-initiated management buy-out and we’re keen to speak to more business owners and management teams to help them understand the options open to them,” Thomas added.