Perth-based engineering experts Merlin ERD has become the latest business to join the growing number of employee-owned firms in Scotland.

Merlin, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in Perth, has become world leader in the design and delivery of horizontal, extended reach (ERD) and complex oil and gas wells.  The company has delivered more than 200 projects in 40 countries, all from its Perth office.

We caught up with Merlin’s founder, Iain Hutchison, to find out more about the decision to transition his business to employee ownership.

“When I first began to investigate succession options, I didn’t believe employee ownership (EO) was right for Merlin.  However, after attending a Scottish Enterprise EO session and looking at the detail, I discovered that the benefits of EO were closely aligned with our values. EO offered a succession path that increased business resilience, retained our culture and provided an ideal combination of an eventual exit for me along with advantages for our loyal staff.  I really didn’t want to see what we had built here in Scotland being moved, or worse, closed by a competitor allowing them to flourish elsewhere at the expense of our local team.  By becoming employee-owned, we’re anchoring highly- skilled jobs and a profitable high-tech business in Perth, Scotland.

Queens Award 067

Merlin ERD received its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in September 2016.

“Just as importantly, I want to see the business continue to grow; employee ownership has consistently proven itself to be an excellent mechanism for growth, with a more motivated and engaged workforce helping to drive innovation, ambition and turnover.

“We’ve enjoyed huge success here at Merlin ERD, expanding into overseas markets and being awarded two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for International Trade, whilst weathering the oil and gas industry downturn.  It is my belief that our transition to employee ownership will assist in propelling the business through the next stage of growth, whilst providing exceptional opportunities for our employees who will stand to share in future profits of the business. If past performance is any guide to the future, Merlin is going to impress.”

If you would like to learn more about how employee ownership could benefit your business, please get in touch to arrange a chat with one of our expert advisers.