Bespoke joinery manufacturer and interior fit-out specialist, Bentleys Shopfitting Ltd, is the latest business in Scotland to adopt an employee ownership model.
Established in 1987, the Dundee-based company specialises in the management and completion of interior fit-out projects, creating high quality bespoke furnishings at its in-house manufacturing facility.
It has evolved from specialising in the retail sector to expanding its expertise across the education, leisure, hospitality, corporate, residential and oil and gas sectors, with notable projects including The Old Course Hotel and Spa in St Andrews, Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder and the Balmoral and Sheraton Grand Hotels in Edinburgh.
With turnover in the current financial year expected to exceed £8m, Bentleys’ three directors were keen to continue the trend in growth since the recession.
CDS guided and supported Bentley’s transition to employee ownership, providing expert advice on the implementation of the new ownership structure. Director Sarah Deas said: “2016 has been a tremendous year for transitions to employee ownership as more companies recognise its effectiveness in harnessing the effort of employees, preserving company ethos and rooting businesses in the local area. It’s an exciting time for Bentleys and I wish the company well as it joins the thriving and dynamic EO community.”
Managing director Alan Walker discussed why the company decided make its transition to EO: “We wanted a succession plan which would allow us to continue in the business over a period of years whilst supporting a management team that will continue to drive the business forward.
“The involvement of all employees in the ownership of the business will be a major boost going forward. In addition to our 50 staff we have a network of local suppliers and subcontractors who rely on our business. Other options were considered but the priority of the board was to ensure the business remained local.
An Employee Ownership Trust will now buy the shares from the shareholders and hold these on behalf of the employees. Tax incentives will be available to allow the employees to invest in the company.
If you would like to learn more about how employee ownership could benefit your business, please get in touch and have a chat with our expert advisers.