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Peterlee-based Gliderol, one of the UK’s longest established garage door manufacturers has recently completed a deal to transfer the ownership of the business to an EOT (Employee Ownership Trust) providing the business with a stable ownership base on which to continue to thrive across the UK & Ireland.

EOTs were introduced in the Finance Act 2014 in order to encourage indirect share ownership to individual employees. As such, EOTs give employees a direct interest in their future and aim to encourage greater productivity and innovation at work. 100% of the company’s shares are now held in a discretionary trust for the long-term benefit of the total workforce, having the effect of stabilising the company’s ownership structure and securing its independence.

Roy Sinclair, Managing Director of Gliderol wanted to secure the long-term future of the firm and was keen to ensure any transaction was structured in the right way for all stakeholders. “The establishment of employee ownership through the EOT at Gliderol will provide continued job security for all staff,” said Roy. “It will also enable the employees to effectively have collective control of their future to continue to deliver our market leading products and service.”

Employee ownership has rocketed in popularity in the last decade pioneered by the John Lewis Partnership and more recently by companies such as Richer Sounds and Aardman Animation. Studies have shown that employee-owned firms are also more resilient and are proven to weather economic cycles better than most. This may prove to be important as firms the world-over deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gordon Gilbraith, Sales Manager at Gliderol and one of the beneficiaries of the new structure said: “This is great news for all the staff at Gliderol who now have a stake in the business and will share in the profits.”

Roy Sinclair believes that employee ownership also bodes well for customers and will help to secure the long-term future of the company. “Employee ownership makes us less vulnerable to acquisition and therefore any interruption to the supply of our customers’ products,” said Roy. “It is also securing the future of the business, including its ethos, values and employees, while rooting itself for the longer term to the benefit of the customers which it serves – It’s a win-win all round.”

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