When Harry Greensmith started Crown Oil 75 years ago, you have to imagine he'd be pleased to know that the business would still be in his family's hands and looking to the future of energy in 2021.
Oil may still be part of the company name, but it's actually only part of what Crown Oil does as a group. More recently, the organisation has seen the potential in alternative fuels and made a substantial investment in hydro-treated vegetable oil, a move that has put them on course to be one of the UK's leading alternative fuel providers.
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With the core businesses moving in a new direction, it was time to reassess the group's position, and it was decided to demerge the mains gas business from the wider group. This was not an easy task, but Azets worked directly with Crown Oil's Director, Adrian Greenhalgh, and his team, taking them through every step of the process.
Adrian explains: “Demerging our gas business from the group took a number of years, and Azets were heavily involved throughout. It was an incredibly complex process, both legally and from a tax perspective - it was a very big project.”
Demerging our gas business from the group took a number of years, and Azets were heavily involved throughout. It was an incredibly complex process, both legally and from a tax perspective - it was a very big project.Adrian Greenhalgh, Director - Crown Oil
One of the most important tasks when it came to demerging the gas business was to find a new key supplier to partner with and negotiate mutually beneficial terms of business. This proved to be a lengthy process but the whole team were dedicated to getting it over the line.
Adrian says: “The gas transaction probably took around five years overall. There were some breaks in that timeline during complex negotiations that Azets were assisting with, but things really picked up speed over the last two years and we got it over the line and signed on the 31st of December. The team at Azets worked with me throughout the Christmas holidays to ensure we finished the year on a high.”
Not only did we put in the work to make sure the demerger and new supplier agreement was finalised, we also thoroughly and transparently outlined the tax implications. Because Crown Oil is such a large business, it's important that they keep track of their obligations to HMRC.
"I came across many impressive SME leaders in my role as an Audit manager, 22 years ago, and I have encountered many since from which I have no doubt taken conscious or unconscious improvements from. Amongst those was David Greensmith, the father of Crown Oil's current MD, David was a great role model for many people including myself and had the ability to inspire improvements in your own abilities."Get started with Azets
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