Recruitment and payroll services group Kinetic has followed the John Lewis model by becoming an employee-owned company.
Managing director Neil Smith said the move would preserve the culture and independence of the group while ensuring staff share in its success.
Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Speaking on the agreement Smith said: “I wanted to preserve the culture and independence of the business and for a number of years I had been looking for the right structure that would safeguard these key principles without selling it to a third party.
“The employee ownership trust model is an ideal fit for us.”
He added that the trust board, of which he is a member, would not set the group’s business strategy.
“The shares will be held by the trust for the benefit of all employees, but it is business as usual,” he said.
“Although the ownership structure has changed, the directors and managers continue to run the company. Salaries, contracts and reward structures remain the same.”
The Kinetic group of companies comprises staffing divisions Kinetic Recruitment Services and Kinetic Nursing, along with Pay Partners, which provides outsourced payroll services to small and medium-sized businesses.
Kinetic Recruitment Services, a manufacturing and engineering recruitment specialist with over 3,000 clients, is the largest division.
Nigel Barratt, the head of HURST Corporate Finance, and Liz Gallagher an associate partner in HURST’s tax team, advised Kinetic on the creation of the employee ownership trust. Mike Blood of JMW Solicitors and Stephen Hadlow of Turner Parkinson provided legal advice.
Commenting on the deal Barratt said: “I have advised Kinetic over many years so it is really pleasing to have been involved in this transaction.
“We see real benefit for all involved in transferring ownership to an employee ownership trust to ensure that Kinetic remains an independent business committed to long-term, sustainable growth.”
The Kinetic Group has its headquarters in Stretford, Greater Manchester, and operates from eight other offices nationwide. It employs 62 staff and generated revenues of £22m in its latest financial year.