Where Are They Now image

Former Client Ben Tagg Who Sold Two Businesses

An Update by Ben Tagg.

Ben Tagg photoI sold two businesses with Prism’s help.

New Vision Group (NVG) was an award-winning developer of software and online solutions for the hospitality and tourism sector, which I sold in January 2016.

EBS New Media (EBS) was a leading provider of electronic programme guides and TV listings data, which I sold to the Press Association in April 2018.


I continued to work in NVG for about 3 days a week following the sale, but I left EBS immediately and had no involvement afterwards.

NVG was then sold again just over 2 years later and from that some uplift kicked in which gave us a bit extra! NVG clients did eventually migrate over to the new software platform (of the acquirer), but it took years. When they recently finally closed our old system (the part used by the hoteliers), we had a number asking “Why are you closing it? It’s still the best system in the marketplace”. Hearing that after all these years was quite extraordinary for me!

I then took a 6-month break in 2019, but still had to do a bit afterwards before finally leaving in NVG in Spring 2020. It was “interesting” experiencing the contrast in having nothing to do post-sale for EBS (preferable) compared to a significant involvement with NVG (which could be difficult if you feel the acquirers aren’t doing the right thing).

Spending the Proceeds

I did have a bit of time at the beginning thinking about what I should do with my money from the business sales. I started off by giving away quite a bit… and then I gave another chunk to the tax man.

We bought a new house without having to worry about selling the old one. So, selling up does give you greater choices and it is easy to take that for granted. Having had times when it wasn’t at all like that, I’m suitably thankful.

Outside of my home, the principal investment has been in the purchase of Castle Lodge in Ludlow (see below).

A Return to Tourism

I knew right from the beginning of that exit process that I was going to have to line up some stuff to do afterwards. Unlike friends that have gone through similar experiences, who have expanded their leisure time and hobbies, I’ve personally got to have a work-related project or two going on.

Not long after the sale of NVG I bought Castle Lodge, a Grade II* Tudor building in the centre of Ludlow with the intention of redeveloping it. The building is famous for possibly having been the former residence of Catherine of Aragon!

Castle Lodge




Castle Lodge, Ludlow. A medieval Tudor and Elizabethan architectural transition period house. It has been a house, a hotel and more recently a museum. 


The extra funds from the EBS sale made it much easier. We’re converting it into short-break rental apartments, a restaurant and bar. My previous connection with hospitality sector has been helpful – I learned a lot from the thousands of guest houses and small hotels we dealt with at NVG. I think I gained a sense of what sorts of businesses have got a chance of doing well and thought I can definitely do better than a lot of those!

It took us a year or a bit more to really start to make a proper plan. I was quite relaxed about it as I saw it as a bit of an adventure. I felt the responsibility to do the right thing for the building, the need to fit in with various regulations and to come up with a unique proposition were more important than trying to achieve any arbitrary timeline, so we didn’t rush.

Not surprisingly this has been rather different from the world of online platforms and software development. I’ve had to learn some lessons and I’ve no longer got a team of people I can delegate things to, making my life a little more challenging.

The Business Buzz

Recently, I was talking with a former colleague and we both agreed that working at NVG was a lot of fun. She said that despite turning her hand to many things since, she hasn’t done anything that has been quite as satisfying – and I sort of agree with her. Even with your nose against the grindstone every day in the business, you don’t appreciate it at that point, but on reflection afterwards we did some really great stuff, it was really interesting and dynamic. You can’t just recreate that energy and buzz. A lot of that comes from the team in your business.

With my new hospitality business, I now need to employ about 10 people. So, suddenly I’m right back there and building a team again!