Fri, 15 Sep 2023 | BUSINESS SALE
Leading water and environmental engineering consultancy firm Waterco has become employee owned after founder Peter Jones sold his majority shareholding to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). The company, which was founded by Jones 25 years ago, employs 60 staff.
The Ruthin-based company, whose clients include Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and Severn Trent Water, helps water firms improve supply and reduce leakage, as well as upgrading ageing sewage infrastructure and providing drainage and flood risk management services for housebuilders and local councils.
According to Peter Jones, employee ownership ensures the company can keep its team while continuing “to invest in the business and keep the future of the company here in North Wales.”
EOTs are growing in popularity as an exit strategy for owners seeking to sell their businesses while protecting jobs and the overall ethos and values of their company. Jones said: “We did look at a trade sale, but as many small businesses have found, we could see a real risk that the operation would move away from Ruthin, losing skills and jobs in the area”.
Pedr Jones, Peter Jones’ son and Commercial Director of Waterco, said that a sale to an EOT enabled his father to get a financial reward from existing the business, adding that, “as an employee-owned company, we all have a vested interest in the success of the business to drive us forward.”
“That sense of ownership, the ability to shape the future of the business will help us continue to attract new talent, develop new markets and help us grow Waterco further. We have an opportunity to make Waterco an even bigger success together.”
Waterco was advised on the deal by Social Business Wales, which is delivered by Cwmpas. Branwen Elis, Cwmpas Specialist EO Consultant, said the deal “demonstrates how Employee Ownership is seen as a long-term, sustainable way to run a thriving and ambitious business.”
He added: "The Directors of Waterco know they have an invested workforce; realise they need that expertise to remain in-house and see the way of retaining that is to give their employees ownership of the business and a real stake in its success.”
Read about what's fuelling the growth of Employee Ownership Trusts
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