Jim Carmichael – former Managing Director of Clean Air Containment Services Ltd.

When Jim set up Clean Air Containments Services Ltd more than two decades ago, like any new business owner, he needed the services of an accountant.

Faced with a choice of several local accountants, Jim was clear from the outset that he wanted to work with a firm that shared his own business ethos of being both ‘honest and reliable’.

Jim explained: “I looked at several firms and although Benson Wood weren’t the absolute cheapest, they were very well-established firm and I just got a very good feeling about the firm.”

From a standing start, Jim built his business into a highly successful enterprise providing clean room technology and protection against infectious diseases, using high efficiency filtration units. The company’s technology is not only used in hospital settings but is also relied upon by laboratories, research facilities and food manufacturers.

Given the nature of his business, it might seem incongruous that Jim sold his company at the start of the Covid pandemic.

He explained: “In fact, I’d been planning my retirement from the business almost two years before the Covid outbreak. As with all major business decisions, I turned to Chris at Benson Wood for help and advice.

“Having decided that the sale of the business was the best exit strategy for me, Chris set about carrying out the business valuation and all the necessary due diligence work.”

Choosing the right buyer was key for Jim. Initially he was approached by a company who wished to buy the business but Jim felt the price was too low and the potential buyer was undervaluing the assets.

“Benson Wood really came into their own here, “said Jim. “Their business valuation really helped me to hold out for the right offer. In the end, I found a buyer that not only offered a fair price but, equally important to me, I sold to a company that shared my values and who I felt would continue the legacy I had created.

“Although I was walking away from the business, I couldn’t retire unless I knew my clients and staff were in good hands. I had worked hard to create a really good name in the sector and I didn’t want all that to be for nothing!

Since selling his business, Jim feels he made the right decision at the right time.

“Friends who know the business I used to be in, have asked if I miss the cut and thrust of dealing with such an important niche service supplying hospitals – particularly as I sold the company right at the start of Covid in March 2020 when of course the need for air filtration really took off. But honestly, I think I retired at the right time. It would have been very stressful and I’m now enjoying the fruits of my labours.

“I have a lovely holiday home near Monifieth and my wife and I enjoy taking our new Cocker Spaniel on lots of long walks so I’m very happy with the way things turned out.”

Jim still keeps in touch with the team at Benson Wood and Chris continues to handle Jim’s annual tax returns every year.

Jim added: “Everyone at BW has been excellent and such a great help to me over the years – not just the partners but the whole team and I’m pleased I made the right choice to put my trust in them all those years ago when I was searching for a reputable local accountancy firm.”