Case Studies

Gilbert Motors: Putting Tom and Sally behind the steering wheel for business growth

PKF has supported a number of long-term clients through the transition from one family generation to the next, allowing for a smooth transition to ensure the success of the business and continued growth.

In 2019, our PKF Adelaide team supported car dealership Adelaide Hills Toyota in the transition of the now fifth generation business to Tom and Sally Gilbert.

The family’s business has been a client of PKF Adelaide since 2010, so when it came to navigate the transfer of ownership in 2019, the team had a firm understanding of the intricacies involved and the complex nature of the business.

As an old family company, there was a range of family trusts and property companies that owned the Adelaide Hills Toyota (now Gilbert Motors) business unit. To facilitate the transition for our client, the old family structure was dissected, and a new structure created, putting appropriate values on different parts of the business that enabled a painless ownership transition.

The prospect of buying the business was quite overwhelming – it was a really old family company, and my father and my uncle had all sorts of family trusts and property companies that owned the business unit that we purchased,
Tom said.

I didn’t really know where to start. If it wasn’t for PKF, I doubt that we would have come up with a purchase proposition for the family. They were amazing in dissecting the old family structure, coming up with a new structure for Sally and myself, and then putting appropriate values on different parts of the business that enabled us to come up with a very smooth ownership transition.

PKF Business Advisory Partner, Robert Spiby has provided ongoing support and advice to the business over the many years.

“We play an invaluable role as an adviser to clients like Gilbert Motors, that are undergoing a complex transition from one generation to the next. We were able to preserve the family businesses’ best interests, facilitate difficult conversations within the family, articulate a clear path forward, future-proof the corporate structure and ensure a successful transition that didn’t compromise the business’ core goals,” Robert said.

“It takes away that stress from the family and leaves it in the hands of a team of experts who have extensive experience in these types of negotiations.”

We’ve continued to support Gilbert Motors beyond the transition to ensure continued business growth and success. Today PKF Adelaide handles the accounting and tax needs of the business, including income tax and cloud accounting, Tom and Sally’s self-managed superannuation fund, and provides advice on succession planning.

When we did the transition, PKF came up with a structure that allowed us to buy property at the same time,
Tom said.

We’ve now got two property companies, an operating company and a couple of other investment companies that assist us in running the business frugally and not paying unnecessary taxes and fees. PKF is an amazing foundation for our business – they make sure we make prudent decisions with investments and various other decisions.

PKF has relished in the opportunity to work alongside Gilbert Motors on various matters throughout the generations and continue to see the business go from strength to strength.

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