Beer supplier Cave Direct has announced the completion of a management buyout and the appointment of a new board.

The new board of directors includes Neil Kitching as managing director, Laurence Smale as sales and marketing director, and Michael Rochester as operations director. Current owners Colin Gilhespy and Louise Smale will remain in the company as chairman of the board, and a director, respectively. 

The board also welcomes Anthony Hurst as a shareholder and “Cave Direct stalwart”.

“Putting in place a succession plan that ensured continuity for our staff, customers and suppliers alike was crucial in implementing this new structure,” Gilhespy said. “After our very humble beginnings all those years ago, I am thrilled that Cave Direct can now continue in the same vein and has a very exciting future in the hands of our new shareholders and board members whilst retaining the family involvement.”

He said Kitching, Laurence Smale and Rochester all started in sales at the company and have been involved in the growth of the business over the last decade.

“They have had responsibility for sales, HR, marketing, purchasing, portfolio management, operations, e-commerce, and many other commercial duties, so they are well prepared for the new challenges and responsibilities that the MBO opportunity will demand,” he added.

Cave Direct was founded in 1979 by Gilhespy & Louise Smale’s father, Bryan.