Kenyon Group / Adam Jones Group

Business Acquisitions

Thanks to Watersheds, Adam Jones & Sons Group, based in Halesowen, has been sold to Kenyon Group, whose owner Graham Darnell has more than 25 years’ experience in the transport sector.

Adam Jones & Sons Group started as a small family venture over a century ago and has expanded into a business operating with a fleet of more than 140 vehicles and trailers, focusing on all aspects of transportation, pallet distribution, warehousing and logistics. 

The acquisition enables Mr Darnell to bolt the business onto his existing company Kenyon Group, which he also acquired with the assistance of Bath Road based Watersheds, linking the North West and the Midlands by expanding his geographical coverage.

He said: “I am pleased to have worked with Watersheds again. I knew when the time came to grow my business and make another acquisition, they would proactively search for opportunities which matched my key criteria; a family-run business with as good a reputation as Kenyon Group.

“Finding the right business takes a lot of time and resources, which is difficult when you already have a business to run. Watersheds were able to take away a lot of the leg work and present me with suitable companies who were willing to start discussions, including many I may not have been able to find myself.

“Watersheds first introduced Adam Jones & Sons Group to me when I acquired Kenyon Group.  However back then the family did not feel it was the right time to sell.  Watersheds maintained communication so when I informed them I wanted to make my next acquisition, they suggested we meet with the Jones family to discuss the potential sale of the business again, this time with a successful outcome.

“Trying to run a business without being distracted by an acquisition can be difficult.  However Watersheds project managed and advised me throughout the whole process allowing me to focus on my existing business while the acquisition was taking place without feeling overwhelmed. 

“Watersheds led a smooth transaction; from negotiating a deal that worked for both parties, sourcing the best funding package for me, managing the various parties involved during the due diligence process, to completing the deal.”

As a result of the deal, the previous shareholders at Adam Jones & Sons Group can now retire knowing their family legacy will be taken forward in the safe hands of an experienced new owner.

Wendy Lam, Partner at Watersheds, said: “It was obvious when we initially met with the Jones family, Graham wanted to acquire the business. Despite there being great rapport and the family being impressed by Graham’s experience and knowledge of the industry, at the time, they could not let go of the family business.

“We often see this particularly when the business has been passed down generations. It was important to be empathetic and show we understood the tough decision that they were facing. 

“At Watersheds, we maintain good relationships with all our clients and contacts and for this reason, it was possible to start negotiations back up quickly even after a few years.

“I am pleased we could make the family feel comfortable with selling their business by introducing Graham who they believed would take care of the staff and customers and grow it to its full potential. We introduced a buyer who could demonstrate their vast experience in the sector and someone with a track record of making successful acquisitions.”

Expert legal advice was provided by Royds Withy King with funding provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Haydock Finance.

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