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ECO-OIL strikes gold

Posted: February 18, 2008

When Ian Cross, managing director of ECO-OIL Ltd, first came to Burgess Hodgson more than 12 years ago, his waste oil recycling business had a turnover of £200,000.

Fast-forward to today, and ECO-OIL has sales of nearly £30m, a staff of 85 and a thriving business that is the leading player in the UK market – and Burgess Hodgson has been there to provide expertise and advice every step of the way.

Most recently, the firm helped Ian through the sale of ECO-OIL to a large German company with US connections looking for entry into the UK market. With its experience in mergers and acquisitions, Burgess Hodgson was perfectly placed to offer Ian all the help and support needed for the multi-million pound deal.

Eco-Oil began life 15 years ago and now has probably the largest volume and sales of waste oil in the UK. “We collect and recycle waste oil from cars, garages, factories, ships and haulage companies,” explains Ian. “We also import and trade off-spec oils for use as an industrial fuel oil in various industries, such as the road stone industry and for use in power stations.”

Like all waste industries, recycled oil is coming under increased scrutiny from Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This is presenting new challenges for companies like Eco-Oil and its rivals, who will have to absorb the extra costs that adherence to new regulations requires. This means keeping an even tighter rein on all things financial.

The relationship between ECO-OIL and Burgess Hodgson has continued to evolve. When Ian first started the business, he used to work from home, managing all the daily accounts himself, while Burgess Hodgson provided help with the monthly management accounts. This continued until Eco-Oil reached a turnover of £8m, purchased a company in Wales and recruited its own accounts department in Newport. However, Burgess Hodgson still handles the company’s payroll service and audits.

“Burgess Hodgson was always very proactive when we acquired other businesses,” says Ian. “Our relationship was such that, as well as preparing management accounts, Burgess Hodgson provided expert financial assistance providing advice on purchase deals. “And when we sold the company, Burgess Hodgson was with us every step of the way.”

During the last 12 years, Burgess Hodgson has been on hand to provide Ian and ECO-OIL invaluable advice that’s helped the business grow to employ some 85 staff and become part of a large global business.

It’s a strong relationship and one that looks set to continue as Burgess Hodgson has been retained by ECO-OIL’s new owners, the PURALUBE GROUP, to provide audit and payroll services.