Tait Walker assists Ovington Boats in secondary management buyout

Based in North Shields, Ovington Boats has worked with Tait Walker since their original management buyout in May 2007

Chris Turner, Gary Young, Michael Smith and Barry Gill
Chris Turner, Gary Young, Michael Smith and Barry Gill

Accountancy practice Tait Walker has assisted the UK’s only Olympic sailing boat manufacturer in a secondary management buyout that will see a world champion sailor take the helm.

Based in North Shields, Ovington Boats has worked with Tait Walker since their original management buyout in May 2007, following the death of the firm’s founder Dave Ovington.

Since then, the dinghy manufacturer has gone on to develop and grow, which has led to a secondary buyout by the company’s original technical director and champion sailor Chris Turner, who now becomes the sole owner.

Funding for a 50% share of the business was raised through HSBC and Tait Walker’s corporate finance team also helped to structure the deal.

The success of Ovington Boats has seen their boats competing in successive Olympics, as well as exporting their expertly-crafted dinghies across the globe, maintaining their majority market share.

The latest management buyout stands the boat manufacturer in good stead to take on a further surge of growth and as sole owner of the company Chris Turner plans to push on with worldwide progression from the North East base.

Ovington Boats managing director Chris Turner said: “We have ambitious plans as one of the world’s most successful manufacturers of high performance dinghies.

“Our award winning 49er FX boat is a new class for the 2016 Olympics and we currently sell around 60% of the market for these boats worldwide. This is therefore going to be a prime area for growth in the coming years.

“We will be focusing on the development and production of the 49er FX to sell in our existing markets, as well as building on relationships we have with prospective markets such as the US and Middle East.

“It was important to work with people I really trusted on this and having worked with Tait Walker successfully a few years previously this made them an obvious choice.

“They were also able to introduce Paul Coyles to us who is now our new financial director, giving us added value to what has been an important deal in the history of Ovington Boats.”

Tait Walker corporate finance partner Michael Smith said: “We’ve had a long-term relationship with Ovington Boats so its great to be working with them again as a result of such positive growth and ambition.

“It’s also just great to be able to work with such a unique and exciting North East company that has continued to see its products used by professionals in global competitions.”

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