Sarah Willcocks, former owner of Screen Pages, has commended KBS Corporate for overseeing her company’s sale to an acquirer with similar corporate and cultural values.

Sarah Willcocks, former owner of Screen Pages, has commended KBS Corporate for overseeing her company’s sale to an acquirer with similar corporate and cultural values, signposting a sparkling future for both businesses.

Screen Pages, which began trading in 1997, offers a wide range of e-commerce services, specialising in the design, build, hosting and support of mobile-first websites and applications for merchants and companies seeking digital transformation and online growth. The company also provides digital marketing and consultancy services.

Recognising the need for fresh impetus to accelerate Screen Pages’ growth trajectory, Sarah instructed KBS to find a buyer and coordinate the sale. The eventual acquirer was identified by Sarah as an ideal fit, with the former Screen Pages owner staying on as Head of E-Commerce for the Moore-Wilson group.

Moore-Wilson, based in London and Salisbury, is a full-service creative and digital agency which provides strategy, branding, web development, digital marketing, website support and fully managed hosting.

“Screen Pages needed investment to grow. It had struggled to grow fast enough organically post-Covid,” explained Sarah.

“As the sole owner, I wanted to look at whether a merger or acquisition would be an option, and I wanted a buyer who would take on the whole company, keeping all the staff and clients rather than cannibalising it. I was open to opportunities to become part of a larger company and it took a while to find the right buyer because some interested parties did want to cannibalise the company.

“Moore-Wilson’s objective is that they want to continue running Screen Pages as a wholly owned subsidiary of the wider group – as they have with a previous acquisition (Design Inc), which is another reason why it was attractive and a good opportunity.”

A significant part of Moore-Wilson’s appeal to Sarah as a potential acquirer was the values they each applied to their business approach.

“We were presented with a lot of different interested parties by KBS, but I had a good feeling about Moore-Wilson because we share the same corporate values – which is really important,” said Sarah.

“Both companies have good staff retention, both companies have retained our clients over many years. If we think something is wrong for the client, we say no and recommend the right thing, fostering a longer-term relationship with the client as they will remain with you if they know you’ve got their best interests at heart. It was a very good fit from a cultural point of view, and I think that fosters trust.

“What happened is that when I announced the sale to all the clients and all the staff, they loved it. That smoothed the way and made it a lot easier to get the deal done and more attractive for everyone concerned, not only myself and the buyer. It was important that the transition and the integration of the two companies would be as easy as possible.”

Already, the benefits of the partnership between Moore-Wilson and Screen Pages are being delivered.

“There are a bunch of services we wanted to offer our clients for which we would have needed to borrow a substantial amount of money to build up those practices,” said Sarah. “Part of the reasoning behind selling the company was to merge with, or be acquired by, another company that could offer those complementary services. And that’s what’s happened.

“The opportunities for growth are already bearing fruit – we’ve sold some of the services offered by the Moore-Wilson group to some of our existing clients. In addition, they have put us in touch with someone who needs an e-commerce website because they didn’t have an e-commerce practice before.

“And as a larger group with 50 staff instead of 15, collectively we are in a better position to win deals. I think the opportunities for growth are that much greater being part of a bigger group with additional services.”

Steve Wilson, CEO of the Moore-Wilson group, concurred with Sarah’s thoughts on the two companies being an ideal match.

“Screen Pages has been on my radar for some time as a highly respected e-commerce specialist that could potentially dovetail very well with the Moore-Wilson structure,” he said.

“During exploratory conversations it quickly became clear there were strong synergies in our approach and shared client requirements – as well as, vitally, a cultural ‘fit’.

“We look forward to integrating the Screen Pages team and processes into the group ‘family’ and connecting the Moore-Wilson and Design Inc teams to realise the full ‘cross-pollination’ between all three of the group businesses.”

Praising the role the KBS team, led by Oliver Rigby, Corporate Deal Executive, played in the transaction, Sarah said she realised that having the UK’s leading mid-market company sales adviser in her corner was vitally important in enabling her to concentrate on the most important aspect – ensuring Screen Pages kept performing to maximum effect.

“I can’t fault KBS,” said Sarah. “It’s been a very good experience and the way the deal was structured was good value for money for a company of our size.

“As a business owner, you are busy running your business and you can’t do that and sell the company without some help – that was the conclusion I quickly came to. You can waste so much time and not be focused on your business.

“It took a couple of years, but I thought there was very good pre-qualification of the interested parties, the door was always open for advice about the process and Oliver was very helpful.

“I would recommend KBS for sure – in fact, I already have.”


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