Chorleywood livestock and aquatic product supplier, Tropical Marine Centre, has transferred full ownership of the business to the management team with the support of a £3 million management buy-out facility from HSBC UK.

The facility, which forms part of a wider seven-figure deal, has enabled the company to not only take ownership of the business but also to support those colleagues who are retiring.

Celebrating its 50th year of trading last year, Tropical Marine Centre has been one of Europe’s leading suppliers of quality marine fish and invertebrates since 1970. The business imports more than 1,800 species sourced from 100 different supply lines around the world and supplies retailers and businesses across 50 countries – including over 1,200 retail stores in the UK.

Brian Schaff, CEO of Tropical Marine Centre, commented: “We have built a fantastic reputation over the last 50 years and it was very important to me to properly support and acknowledge our colleagues service when they retire as well as ensuring we establish continuity to preserve our business for the next 50 years.

“We wanted to do this last year but with the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 we had to push the pause button. A third of our business comes from Europe and during the pandemic we have been juggling different rules and restrictions across all our markets. Meanwhile, the whole pet industry has seen a huge increase in demand over the period and we’ve seen supplies of our dry stock and livestock surge over the past eighteen months.

“The facility from HSBC UK gave us the confidence to push forward with our plans this year and begin a longer-term project to ensure the continued growth of the business whilst supporting those who have given so much to our company’s development to this point.”

Jack Coley, HSBC UK Relationship Director for the East Midlands, added: “During what has been such a turbulent period for the industry, it’s great to see the team at Tropical Marine Centre continue to thrive and support customers across Europe with their product deliveries. We are delighted to help Brian and the team not only support their business plans now but also in the years to come.”