Bright future for 150 employees who become shareholders in their own manufacturing business
A leading Scottish specialist manufacturer, Stewart Buchanan Gauges has become employee owned this week, safeguarding 150 jobs.
The transition to employee ownership was initially explored two years ago. The process has since been guided and supported by Baxi Partnership, which provided specialist project management, including financial and employee engagement advice while Wright Johnston MacKenzie provided legal advice. Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has also provided funding for a feasibility study and implementation of the new ownership structures.
Kilsyth-based Stewart-Buchanan Group, a valve and pressure gauge manufacturing business, says the deal will also provide a solid platform for further expansion. With a history stretching back to 1870, the company has grown rapidly in recent years and now exports to more than 50 countries. Its specialist valves and pressure gauges are used in a diverse range of sectors, including oil and gas, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food and drink, heating and ventilation.
When planning for his retirement the owner, Frank Phair, who led the company since the early 1970s, was faced with a succession dilemma. He wanted to secure the future of the business in the local community and create a structure that would enable further growth. Most importantly the company wanted to avoid a sale to a competitor which could result in relocation, redundancies or closure. The deal, which is for an undisclosed sum, involved the creation of an Employee Benefit Trust, which acquired the shares from Frank Phair.
The owner of Stewart-Buchanan Group, Frank Phair said: “I am delighted the company has been bought by the employees, securing its future in the local community. “The business has a long relationship with Kilsyth and I was determined that it would be retained here, rather than be sold to a competitor. The company is now in great hands, and I wish the new employee owners every success.”
New managing director Stephen Nicol added: “We would all like to thank Frank for providing us with the opportunity to acquire such a successful business. Stewart Buchanan Group is in safe hands. “The employee buyout team has had outstanding support from Frank, CDS, Baxi Partnership and Wright Johnston MacKenzie and, most importantly, from the employees, who have embraced this exciting opportunity to own their own business. I would like to thank them all.”
John Alexander, investment director, Baxi Partnership said: “Stewart Buchanan Group has embraced a business model that promises to unleash creativity and productivity through a sustainable ownership structure. “It has been tremendously exciting to support them in making the move into employee ownership and helping to set them on the path to further success.”
Baxi Partnership runs a series of free, informative seminars designed for UK business owners, to share the secrets of employee ownership, and how to leverage the proven benefits for your company. To reserve your free place on our next course in London on 10th May, or Glasgow on 6th September, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our website, or call Denise Logan on: 0845 680 6702