Reflecting on the sale

Mar 28 | 2023

Steve Jordan talks to Mark Chudley about the emotional side of selling the family business.

Mark ChudleyBack in May 2020 when all the world was in turmoil, Mark Chudley sold his moving business to the Fox Group.  Much has been written in the media since then about the sale, particularly as Mark has been very high profile over the last couple of years as BAR president.  But I was interested not so much in what he had done, or even why he’d done it, but how the process of selling the business to which he had dedicated much of his working life made him feel.

To do feel that I need to explain a bit of the history.  Mark started his career in the industry in 1978 with Blatchpack in Exeter.  Derek Blatchford, the owner, was his father-in-law.  In 1994 Mark chose to start his own company, soon after being joined by his brother, Hugh.  It was successful specialising, as well as general moving, in fine art shipping from the UK and France to the USA, and in household goods shipping to Cyprus. The company joined BAR in 2003 and Mark became very active in the association. Mark’s son, Adam and his daughter, Sarah, were also part of the business.

As the years went by, Mark began to consider his retirement.  “I'd been thinking about what life would be like in retirement, probably since my 50s,” explained Mark.  “I suspected that if I continued to own the business, it wouldn't matter who was running it, I'd still be heavily involved. So I was unsure about what I wanted to do.”

Hugh had no real desire to take over, but Adam, with Sarah supporting probably would have done.  But then came a rapid succession of body blows that changed Mark’s plans fundamentally ...

Photo: Mark Chudley.

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