THERE'S a double celebration for a husband and wife team at the heart of an international Teesside business.
Yorkshire Bank, the UK's best-performing business bank, has helped directors, Frances and Stephen Reed, buy the controlling 67 per cent of shares in relocation business, Pearson Home Moving, Middlesbrough - and the company has just won two major industry awards.
The funding from Yorkshire Bank's Tees Valley Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), Stockton, enables managing director, Frances Reed and her husband, Stephen, to buy the remaining shares from the final two family members of business, directors David and Brian Pearson, grandsons of the founder, who have retired.
Completion of the deal coincides with the business, established by Edwin Pearson in 1917, winning awards for customer care and for its distinctive livery at the 2007 Motor Transport Awards, Olympia, London.
A year ago Yorkshire Bank, which has a 30-year working relationship with the company, provided funding so Frances and Stephen Reed, who have a combined 40 years' experience with the business, could buy an initial 33 per cent stake and become directors of the family business as part of a succession strategy.
Pearson Home Moving - formerly E Pearson & Sons (Teesside) Ltd - has a £4m turnover, 85 staff, 35 removal vans, 35 trailers and is part of the UniGroup Worldwide UTS, a network of top removal companies with more than 100 bases throughout Europe.
Frances Reed says: "Yorkshire Bank was fantastic. They listened to what we needed to achieve and assembled strategic funding to enable us to complete the share acquisition in the most efficient way. We are very pleased.
"The combination of completing the deal and winning these two awards will enable us to move up to a new level of trading."
In assembling the funding, Yorkshire Bank Tees Valley FSC business partner, David Jeffrey, involved some of the bank's risk management and invoice finance specialists to structure a bespoke packaging combining a traditional loan with raising funds through invoice finance and interest hedging.
He says: "Our approach is to listen to what customers want and then use our expertise to enable them to achieve it in the best possible way. We are delighted to have completed this two-stage deal for Frances and Stephen Reed and wish them all the very best."
The Yorkshire Bank funding is also allowing Frances and Stephen Reed to extend services at the company including executive relocation and specialist IT removals services.