North West coatings company becomes employee-owned

Employment & Skills | Financial Services | Legal | Manufacturing | North West
L-R Howard Tomes, Garry Marshall, Simon Quiligotti and Philip Dawson
L to R: Howard Tomes, Garry Marshall, Simon Quiligotti and Philip Dawson

A coatings company with 85 staff has adopted the John Lewis and Richer Sounds model by becoming employee-owned.

Northpoint, which is based in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, was founded in 1976 and since a management buyout in 2007 had been owned by directors Garry Marshall, Philip Dawson, Simon Quiligotti and Howard Tomes.

Now their shares have been transferred to an employee ownership trust.

Northpoint is a £6.25m-turnover business which specialises in protective coatings for steel fabrications, including galvanised steel fencing, industrial pipework for water treatment plants and oil and gas transmission systems, and street furniture.

Garry, Simon and Howard remain as directors under the new structure while Philip has moved to a consultancy role.

Ben Bradley of HURST Corporate Finance and Liz Gallagher of HURST’s tax team advised the shareholders, while a seven-figure funding package was arranged by HSBC.

Employee ownership trusts were introduced by the government in 2014.

Ben Bradley said: “The shareholders of Northpoint were keen to preserve the company’s ethos of active employee participation and an EOT was the ideal way to achieve this goal.

“It’s a model which is being increasingly adopted in the UK and has been shown to boost profits, productivity, job security and employee wellbeing.

“Employee-owned businesses are increasingly at the forefront of innovation and we wish everyone at Northpoint well for the future.”

Philip Dawson said: “It felt the right thing to do for the shareholders to pass the business on to the workforce and an EOT seemed the appropriate way of achieving this.

“It’s our view that, as our people gain knowledge and understanding of how the business runs, they will flourish.

“Whenever people previously excluded from the strategic decision-making process are included, in our case the general workforce through an employee forum, then everyone in the business benefits.

“It’s a cliché but nonetheless true to say that our people are Northpoint’s most important asset. We treat listening to the workforce as the centrepiece of our commitment to respect, engagement, growth and profitability, which ultimately is the goal of an EOT for the benefit of all employees.”

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