l-r Andy, Neil, Matt, Expect Distribution

5 January 2022. To mark the completion of MBO of Expect Distribution. Pictured are members of Expect management team, from the left, Andy Taylor, Neil Rushworth and Matthew Kilner.

MT haulier of the year Expect Distribution has been sold to two of its board members in a management buyout (MBO) the Bradford firm said would ensure business continuation.

The transport and warehousing provider was acquired by operations director Andy Taylor (left) and financial director Matthew Kilner (right), with backing from funders Shawbrook Bank.

Current MD and co-founder Neil Rushworth (centre) will remain in his role in the short term and also retain a minority shareholding.

Taylor and Kilner joined Expect in 2017 and 2020 respectively and the company said they were instrumental in its growth and profitability.

Rushworth said: “The board held a strategy meeting in Q1 [2021] and Andy and Matthew expressed some interest in continuing the Expect success story through an MBO and things developed pretty quickly from there.

“Over many years we have created a highly-respected business and despite having external suitors who were interested in buying Expect we found it difficult to imagine any parties who would understand and run the company with the same ethics and unique formula that we have created over the time that the family has owned it.”

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Expect clients include Boost Drinks, Astonish, Card Factory and customers within construction, pharma and automotive sectors.

It was started in 1988 by chairman Robert Rushworth and Neil, growing from two trucks to a fleet of 140 vehicles and a £40m turnover.

Taylor said: “As we approach 35 years in business, achieving a turnover of nearly £40m and employing over 360 employees as well as winning Haulier of the Year three times with the Motor Transport Awards, the only UK haulier to win the award in two consecutive years, we’re as efficient and innovative as any competitor, with the in-depth industry knowledge and expertise that our clients need and appreciate.”

Kilner added: “We would both personally like to thank Neil and Bob and their vision and dedication which has created the business we have today.

“Regarding the company’s expansion and growth plans, we couldn’t be more excited to be working with our team to achieve and execute the company’s growth plans going forward and we intend to continue that organic growth which will see Expect grow by a projected 15-20% in 2022.”

The deal was for an undisclosed figure.