Management buyout at Blackburn transport safety business

HGV reversing

The founder of Blackburn-based Vision Techniques has sold the company to its next generation in a Management Buyout (MBO). 

The MBO sees the management team of Dave Smith, an employee of Vision Techniques for over 18 years, and Sarah Taylor, who has been with the company for 9 years, transition to Managing Director and Finance Director. 

The business turned over £7.3m in 2021, the last time full accounts were filed, and made pre-tax profits of £573,000.

Funding for the transaction with provided by Mercia Asset Management with the investment led by Mike Rogers. The company filed a registration of charges from two Mercia backed providers last week, and one from ABN Amro.

Michael Hanson

Sarah Taylor

Dave Smith







Michael Hanson will retain an equity shareholding along with a board position, to provide continuity and ongoing expertise.

Dave Smith, Vision Techniques Managing Director said: “I would like to thank Michael for the opportunity to lead the MBO. Sarah and I are keen to build upon the exceptional reputation that Michael and the Shareholders have created over the last 36 years. We will continue to invest in innovative solutions, delivering world-class products to our clients.”

A specialist supplier of vehicle safety equipment, Vision Techniques was founded in 1988 by Michael Hanson. The company develops products used in a wide range of industries, including construction, waste management, quarrying and mining, agriculture and blue light. 

Led by a focus on product innovation Vision supplies products such as on-board vehicle cameras, collision avoidance systems, and numerous warning alarms. More recently, the company has adopted Artificial Intelligence and solar power harnessing technology, to improve solutions for clients and provide the ultimate protection in commercial vehicle safety technology.

Vision Techniques was advised on the deal by long-standing advisers from Pierce Accountants in Blackburn.

Pierce’s corporate finance team advised the shareholders on a variety of exit options with it becoming clear that the MBO provided the ideal solution for all parties and ensured the long- term independence of the company.

Once determining that a sale to the key management team as the preferred option, the Corporate Finance Team led by Steven Bell and supported by Tax Director, Dominic Ball, guided the project through to its completion.

Pierce Corporate Finance Director, Steven Bell added: “Early on we recognised the high quality of the management team within Vision Techniques that has been instrumental in driving the business to where it is today, strengthening its exceptional reputation in the sector. Selling to management was clearly the best option for Shareholders and the Company. We are pleased to have been able to provide guidance to the shareholders and deliver a transaction that secures the long-term success and independence of Vision Techniques.”

Greg Gardner-Boyes, Partner at KBL Solicitors provided legal advice to the sellers whilst Dean Curtis at Beever and Struthers and Benjamin Dredge of CG Professionals provided financial and legal advice to the management team.