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Force 8 marks industry first with Employee Ownership deal
The Corporate team at JMW Solicitors has advised Cheadle-based Force 8 Fabrication Limited (Force 8) on its move to Employee Ownership.
Force 8 is a leading manufacturer and installer of windows and doors. A successful family business founded in 1991 by Dennis Sumner, it is believed to be the first company within its industry to become employee owned.
Having received several attractive offers to buy Force 8, Sumner opted for an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). He explained: “Some of our staff have been here since the business was started over 30 years ago - I wanted to make sure that the future of the company is secure, but most of all that our employees feel secure. Buy-outs and takeovers - although very generous - didn’t offer the security I was looking for; I wanted to make sure that the workforce was looked after.”
Following the transition to employee ownership, 100% of the shares will be held within the EOT for Force 8 staff. Those who have been employed by Force 8 for more than 12 months will also receive a tax-free bonus each year based on the company profits.
Sara Bluston, Senior Associate at JMW Solicitors, said: “Force 8 is an ambitious, growing business with a well-established team and a loyal customer base – the Employee Ownership Trust proved an ideal solution for the next stage of its journey, allowing the team to take centre stage as Force 8 continues to grow.”
Accountancy practice Clarke Nicklin also supported Force 8 on the deal.
The transition to EOT was also accompanied by a restructure, with Carol Swindles promoted to Production Manager and Lisa Mottershead joining the Board.
Mottershead said: “The transition to Employee Ownership has inspired and energised the team - we have no doubt that it will lead to many more opportunities, with every employee committed to providing the best quality products and services.
“Dennis will also remain with the company during the transition period and into the future to help guide and support the senior management team as Force 8 enters this next chapter.”
Swindles added: “Customers will remain at the heart of the business, with our new structure maintaining continuity and allowing us to build on our success to date. The transition to EOT has already created a multitude of quality control experts, and a host of new ideas to help further improve productivity.”