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Alan Zeal

Consultant - East Sussex (Uckfield)

31st January 2024

Rix & Kay advise marketing agency on Employee Ownership Trust

Rix & Kay’s Corporate Team has advised the owners of Action Communications Group Ltd, a full-service marketing agency specialising in the fitness and wellness industries, on its transfer of ownership to an Employee Ownership Trust (“EOT”). The transaction was led by Alan Zeal, of Rix & Kay and Sally Hardman, of Avondale, Corporate Advisors.

The Founders of Action Group, Dawn Tuckwell and Cheryl Hersey (pictured) will remain involved in advisory and executive capacities – with Tuckwell working as Director of Sales.

Established in 2010, Action Group started out providing communications and PR services, but now offers the widest range of communication and content services for health, wellness, nutrition, sport, and fitness brands. With a strong and well-respected team of fitness and marketing experts, the business is today the largest agency that solely specialises in this arena. The sale, which was at full commercial value, ensures the continuity of the brand going forward and rewards the exceptional team.

The formation of the EOT follows the appointment of Daniel Pearson as Managing Director in late 2022, when the Founders reduced their operational involvement.

Action Group currently has eight full time employees who will benefit from the new EOT, plus a roster of freelancers. The company turned over £975,776 in the year to March 2023 yielding a healthy pre-tax operating profit of £462,472 or £371.188 after tax.

Commenting on the deal, Alan Zeal, Consultant in Rix & Kay’s Corporate Team said,

“Rix & Kay has maintained a long and trusted relationship with Cheryl and Dawn since their formation of Action Group in 2010. Working alongside Avondale, as part of an integrated deal team, made the entire EOT transaction seamless. Both Cheryl and Dawn were able to draw on collective and joined up advice at every stage, allowing us to resolve issues quickly and complete the deal smoothly.”

Co-Founder of Action Group, Cheryl Hersey said,

“I am thrilled to share the news that after more than a decade running Action Group with Dawn Tuckwell, we have sold the business, and created an Employee Ownership Trust. Our wonderful team, led by Daniel Pearson, now have a significant and meaningful interest in the company, inspiring them to deliver even greater work for our brilliant clients, for years to come.

“Rix & Kay has supported Action Group for several years across a number of commercial matters. When we made the decision to sell the business and create an EOT they were our first choice to carry out the legal work. Working with Alan Zeal and the team made the whole experience very easy.  Alan was never too busy to explain complex points or legal language and he kept the process moving at an impressive speed.

“Selling your business must be up there with one of life’s most stressful experiences but being surrounded by the most incredible team of experts kept us on track and smiling every step of the way.  Sally and Jo, our consultants at Avondale, worked at an impressive pace, while at the same time making everything super easy to understand”.