Pacific Building moves to employee ownership

Forty-five workers employed by Glasgow construction and fit-out company Pacific Building Ltd have started the New Year in new roles as joint owners of the business.

Managing director and majority shareholder, Brian Gallacher, said the decision to move to employee ownership was taken to lay the foundations of a prosperous future for the firm.

Pacific Building moves to employee ownership

Under the terms, an employee ownership trust will hold 100% of the shares in Hillington-based Pacific on behalf of the staff.

All the workers will share equally in the company’s success every year via a bonus scheme, as long as it continues to operate profitably, and they will have a say in the day-to-day running of the business.

Mr Gallacher – who will remain in position – said: “I believe this shift to employee ownership will herald the start of a new vibrant chapter in the Pacific Building story in which we will move on to a more dynamic footing.

“I have been considering my business succession options for the past 18 months, and I have been keen to identify a mechanism that allows me to exit as a shareholder, while ensuring that our loyal staff are rewarded and continue to have job security.

“Furthermore, our customers and suppliers need the assurance that they can continue to rely on us as a trusted business partner.

“Research has shown that a combination of shared ownership and employee participation results in a business that is more engaged, innovative, productive and sustainable.

“We want to build a durable, superior business asset that we can all be proud of – and one that truly fulfils our mission statement, ‘We exist to build great things’.”

Founded in 2005, Pacific’s clients include McDonald’s, restaurant and bar operators Mitchells & Butlers, Tesco, Scotmid and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow International Airports. Last year’s turnover was £22 million.

The firm has enjoyed significant year-on-year growth and has accelerated from its modest first-year turnover of about £600,000 to turnover in excess of £13 million, £22 million and £16 million for each of the past three years.

Now it will join the growing ranks of UK businesses operating under employee ownership – whose number include the John Lewis Partnership, engineering company Mott MacDonald and design firm Arup Group.

Deb Oxley OBE, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “We congratulate Pacific Building on its transition to employee ownership.

“By widening ownership of the business to its employees, Pacific is securing the future of the business, including its ethos, values and employees, while rooting itself locally for the longer term to the benefit of the communities) which it serves.”

Co-ownership Solutions LLP managed all aspects of Pacific’s move to employee ownership, assisted and advised by Scottish legal firm Lindsays.

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