Alexander (Scotland) & Co takes employee ownership route

Alexander (Scotland) & Co takes employee ownership route

The team at Alexander (Scotland) & Co. in Bathgate

Family-owned steel company Alexander (Scotland) & Co Ltd has transitioned into employee ownership, handing their respective employees a 100% share via the creation of an employee ownership trust (EOT).

Alexander (Scotland) & Co Ltd has been serving steel customers across Central Scotland for almost 75 years. From humble beginnings at a small premises in Stirling, with just a horse and cart for delivery, the company has grown to forty employees with two premises in Stirling and one in Bathgate.

When the current owner, Mr Glenn MacLachlan, came to look at retirement options, he was keen to ensure the company started by his grandfather continued to thrive.

Mr MacLachlan said: “When we looked at the options with CDS, creating an EOT seemed to tick a lot of boxes. It offered longevity for the business but also gave control to, and rewarded, the people who were a key part of our success in the first place.

“The process was relatively speedy given everything that was involved, and I can retire now knowing I have left the business in safe hands.”

Employee ownership is a choice being made by an increasing number of companies in Scotland as the business model becomes more widely understood.

Scotland is the third largest growth region in the UK for employee-owned businesses and Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), part of Scottish Enterprise, offers guidance and support to companies considering their succession options via a fully funded succession review and employee ownership feasibility study.

Support to transition to employee ownership was provided by 4-consulting (Ralph Leishman) and TLT LLP (Douglas Roberts), Blackadders (Campbell Clark), Glen Drummond CA and Sharles CA.

Douglas Roberts, partner at TLT, said: “It was a pleasure to support Glenn on the sale of his cherished family business to an employee ownership trust. We look forward to seeing Alexander (Scotland) flourish as an employee-owned business.

“Interest in employee ownership in Scotland has increased since the pandemic began, which is believed to have resulted in business owners thinking about the succession of their companies on retirement.

“EOTs have huge power to unlock potential in Scottish businesses. Employee-ownership produces excellent results for businesses and employees and it is fantastic to help another successful Scottish business adopt the model.”

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