Buy-out risk pays off for Rob at RSH

Rob Hand, managing director of Rubber Safety Hygiene,  and Jo Dickinson, Senior Commercial Manager  for HSBC, pictured after the MBO at the Sheffield firm.
Rob Hand, managing director of Rubber Safety Hygiene, and Jo Dickinson, Senior Commercial Manager for HSBC, pictured after the MBO at the Sheffield firm.
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“This better work,” his wife said.

A year on, and managing director Rob Hand has just signed a £500,000 deal that “secures the future” of Rubber Safety Hygiene and will create four jobs.

It comes 12 months after he staged a management buy-out which has seen the 27-strong Grimesthorpe firm hit all its targets and create five new jobs.

So you could say the plan worked.

Which is just as well since Rob, a father of four has put the family home up as security when he borrowed £400,000 from HSBC to buy out the other two directors.

Rob, aged 45, said: “I was entering a big adventure which could have gone one of two ways.

“My wife Natalie said, ‘this better work’. It was as big a commitment for her but she was confident I could pull it off.

“It’s been fantastic. I’ve had great support from her and from the staff and the bank. And this new contract means our stocks will increase and all our customers will feel the benefit of dealing with a solid business.

RSH distributes items including safety equipment, clothing, janitorial supplies, rubber sheeting and industrial hoses. Turnover is £4m but the new deal will take it to £5m and 20 per cent growth. The firm has just spent £30,000 on a new website, Rob added.

Of his decision to stage the buy-out, he said: “I had certain ideas for driving the business forward, I suppose I wanted the freedom to take the business in the direction I wanted.

“When I decided to buy the business we were in the depths of a recession and people looked at me almost like I was mad.

“They said I wouldn’t be able to borrow the money from anyone.

“But HSBC has been fantastic, after the firt time I’d outlined my plans the advisor said, ‘The best thing we can do is get this deal through as quickly as possible’.

“It couldn’t have gone any better. I’ve got loyal staff I took with me, I couldn’t have done it without them. “They have all benefited either financially or with responsibility and all have been motivated by a new bonus structure.