Angus Brewer Senior Consultant

When it comes to buying out a business partner, financing the transaction can be a significant challenge.

Whether you’re acquiring your partner’s stake in the company due to retirement, changes in business goals, or a desire to pursue new ventures, having a solid financial plan is crucial for a smooth transition. One of the most widely known options is a leveraged buyout (LBO), where the acquiring party borrows a substantial amount of funds to finance the transaction.

However, the risks and challenges associated with LBOs can be significant, including high debt levels, interest payments, and potential financial strain. In this article, we'll compare the traditional leveraged buyout approach with a smarter solution - the Holding Company Buyout, which offers a more sustainable and efficient way to finance a business partner buyout.

The Problems of Leveraged Buyouts:

Leveraged buyouts involve taking on significant debt to acquire the departing partner's shares. While LBOs may seem appealing initially, they come with inherent risks and potential issues:

High Debt: Leveraged buyouts typically result in a substantial debt burden for the acquiring party, which can be challenging to manage and service.

Interest Payments:The interest on the borrowed funds adds to the ongoing costs of the buyout, affecting the company's profitability and financial stability.

Financial Strain:If the company's cash flow is insufficient to cover the interest payments and other financial obligations, it can lead to cash flow problems and jeopardise business operations.

Tax Inefficiency:LBOs may not be the most tax-efficient option.

The Holding Company Buyout: A Better Alternative:

In contrast to leveraged buyouts, the Holding Company Buyout offers a smarter solution for financing a buyout of another shareholder in your company. This specialised approach addresses the challenges associated with LBOs while providing several key benefits:

Staged Payments:Holding company buyouts allow for staged payments, reducing the immediate financial burden on the company and enabling smoother cash flow management.


Using company funds:
By utilising a holding company buyout structure correctly, it means that the funds used for the buyout come from the company's reserves, which can have significant tax advantages and cashflow benefits over using personal funds.

Inheritance Tax Protection:If the buyout is structured correctly, it is possible to protect the recipient from Inheritance Tax exposure, ensuring that the departing partner's estate is not unduly impacted.

Mitigated Stamp Duty:The Holding Company Buyout can significantly reduce or even eliminate Stamp Duty costs, resulting in potential cost savings.

While leveraged buyouts have been a popular option for financing business partner buyouts, they come with inherent risks and challenges that can strain a company's finances and overall stability. When considering a business partner buyout, it is essential to explore all available options and seek quality professional advice to make the most informed decision for your company's future.

There may be more sustainable and tax-efficient alternatives to leveraged buyouts, and by working with experienced professionals in this area, you can ensure that the tax implications and whole situation is considered carefully, to ensure a successful buyout that achieves the best outcomes for all.

If you would like further guidance on shareholder buyouts or to book a free consultation to discuss your specific requirements with one of our tax consultants - please fill out the form below

Please note: This article is provided for information only and was correct as at time of writing (28/07/23). Any lists and details provided above are not exhaustive and are not intended to be full and complete guidance.  No action should be taken without consulting detailed legislation or seeking independent professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this article can be accepted.