Knights’ Corporate team has enabled the kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms manufacturer J&J Ormerod plc to transition into an employee-owned business.

Employee Ownership Trusts (EOT) were introduced by the Government in 2014 in an attempt to encourage more shareholders to set up a corporate structure which facilitates wider employee-ownership. For J&J Ormerod plc, this gives the workforce a vested interest in the company's future success, whilst enabling the shareholders to extract some value and preserve the company legacy.

J&J was founded in 1876 and the Greenhalgh family has owned the company for half of its lifetime.  The formation of an EOT came about after Joint Managing Director Lee Greenhalgh decided to step back after 44 years. Lee has jointly owned the business with his brother Stephen and sister Gill, since the death of their father in 2013.

The existing shareholders have sold 67 per cent of their shares to the newly established Employee Ownership Trust, with two trustees in charge.

Stephen Greenhalgh, Joint Managing Director said: “We looked into private equity or a trade sale, but employee ownership seemed the best of both worlds as it secured the long-term future of the business and it also secured our father's legacy. The employees are fundamentally the most important part of the business and now indirectly they are all co-owners and will be able to share in future profits.”

Lindsey Hemingway, Partner at Knights commented: “We are delighted to have advised J&J Ormerod plc on its transition to employee ownership and to work closely with all parties involved to provide a timely exit combined with a succession planning strategy for the legacy business and culture.”