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Conmor Cranes – Family business dilemma

Succession planning is a major factor for most family businesses. Conmor Cranes Pty Ltd was no exception. Tom and Hugh Morris have been involved for over 40 years as the third generation of a successful family crane hire and construction business in Melbourne.

Conmor Cranes Pty Ltd is synonymous with large construction projects around Melbourne such as the Melbourne Tennis Centre, major alterations to the Church Street Bridge and even the placement and lifting of portable turf pitches at the MCG. They have been a client of Saward Dawson for many years and Cliff Dawson has been advising the Morris family since 1984 on their total business requirements.

Over time, a strong professional relationship has developed which has been founded on trust and the willingness to work together. They have dealt with the many complexities of running a business in what is a volatile and, at times, difficult industry.

Succession planning for Conmor Cranes Pty Ltd became a critical issue in recent years as Tom and Hugh faced the dilemma of planning for their retirement without a further generation of the Morris family to take over the reins. How do you unlock a lifetime of involvement and wealth tied up in a family business? Cliff commenced a process of strategic planning and in conjunction with the Morris’ developed strategies and a timetable for the possible sale of the business.

conmorCliff helped Tom and Hugh refocus on a core business plan and get the business ready for sale. Cliff handled the confidential marketing of the business and, through a lengthy process, filtered many enquiries and approaches.

A successful sale was negotiated with Boom Logistics Ltd, which was planning a share market listing for a national lifting solutions group. Cliff represented the Morris’ in the negotiations and helped to broker a successful outcome for the Morris family. Not only have the Morris’ achieved an effective outcome for their lifetime of involvement in the business, they now have an ongoing interest in the recent successful share market listing of Boom Logistics Ltd.

Tom and Hugh would concur that all family businesses need an appropriate exit strategy for the family owners. It is critical to plan well in advance and Saward Dawson are able to work with business owners to develop and implement succession planning strategies.

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