Price Bailey advises Signs Express on management buyout

Price Bailey, Leathes Prior and HSBC has worked together to support a successful management buy-out at leading signs and graphics franchise Signs Express, headquarters in Norwich.

Signs Express , the UK’s and Ireland’s largest sign franchise and with 70 franchises across the country, was established 1989. David Corbett and Frank Eliel founded the company with the specific aim of offering a professional one-stop-shop for business signs and graphics.

Following a successful three-year pilot from their custom sign production centre near Heigham Street, the company began franchising in 1992 and now has a large support team in the city offering advice and guidance to the nationwide network of franchise owners.

Craig Brown, managing director, joined the company at its inception, and, along with operations director Peter Sayles and sales director Tony Marsh, was already a shareholder following a 2007 partial MBO.

Following the conclusion of the full MBO, Jonathan Bean has been announced as a fourth equity shareholder, joining the management team and being promoted to finance director. The deal sees the buy-back of the remaining shares from founding shareholders David Corbett and Frank Eliel.

Craig Brown at Signs Express said: “Throughout the years I have seen the company grow and prosper to become the UK’s largest sign franchise and it’s a great pleasure to be reaching the next phase of our company’s development. David and Frank have left us with a fantastic legacy and one which myself, Peter, Tony and now Jonathan are relishing the opportunity to build on in the coming years.”