Becoming an Employee Ownership Trust

March 10, 2021
| Daniel Wilson |
EO News

As you may have seen in the news, we are delighted to announce that Pennine Healthcare has handed over ownership to our 200 employees. We are delighted to reward staff for their hard work and efforts over the years, and by becoming an Employee Ownership Trust – all 100% of shares are now owned by the trust itself, and all employees with at least 12 months’ service now have the opportunity to each receive up to £3,600 tax free dividends from annual net profits.

You can find out more details on what this means for us as a company, via the Press Release below:

Pennine Healthcare, one of the UK’s leading privately-owned medical manufacturers, has handed over ownership of the company to its 200 employees to reward their loyalty and pave the way for future growth.

Pennine Healthcare, which has operated in Derby for more than 50 years, has joined the growing band of forward-looking companies to set up an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

The privately-owned company has been sold to the EOT for an undisclosed sum that is below its market value to ensure maximum benefit for the employee shareholders moving forward.

The Trust, which represents the interests of the company employees, now holds 100% of the Pennine Healthcare’s shares.

All employees with at least 12 months’ service now have the opportunity to each receive up to £3,600 tax free dividends from annual net profits.

Pennine Healthcare, in London Road, specialises in manufacturing single use, sterile medical devices and customised procedure packs for the NHS and the wider healthcare sector both in the UK and 80 countries worldwide.

The current operations board, led by CEO Luke Fryer, will continue to manage the company – reporting to the EOT.

Elizabeth Fothergill CBE, who is HM Lord -Lieutenant of Derbyshire and whose father Ivor Shaw set up the company in the Sixties, has retired from the operations board to become a member of the EOT which hold shares on behalf of the employees and will distribute the dividends equally.

She explained that the driving force behind today’s announcement was to ensure that Pennine Healthcare remained in Derby, recognised employees for their hard work and effort and retained capital in the business.

Mrs Fothergill said: “The success of Pennine Healthcare today is due to the skills and commitment of our employees and I am delighted that we have taken the EOT route to take the company to the next chapter.

“Selling the company to our employees through the EOT will ensure that Pennine Healthcare remains rooted in Derby and continues to create and retain skilled and valued jobs and careers for local people.

“Everyone will take an equal share of a significant proportion of net profits generated which recognises the important part that each individual plays in the the success of the company.

“Furthermore, this new structure enables investment in the company’s future in line with our long-held vision to be a world-class UK manufacture of healthcare products, serving global markets through exceptional customer service, innovation and continual improvement.”

CEO Luke Fryer, who joined Pennine Healthcare seven years ago, continued: “We had been looking to sell the company to take it forward but decided that this was the best option for the future of Pennine Healthcare and our workforce.

“Establishing the Employee Ownership Trust will enable the company to continue to operate in Derby and will pave the way for new product development and growth.

“The past year has been full of challenges due to the pandemic but everyone has stepped up to the mark to keep the NHS going.

“For example, we are the sole supplier of oxygen tubing to the NHS in England and pre-pandemic produced 3kms a month of this product. In recent times, we have manufactured 20kms of oxygen tubing a month which has been so vital in treating Covid-19 and other clinically vulnerable patients.”

The move has been welcomed by the workforce including those with several decades service to the company.

Andrea Robinson joined Pennine Healthcare more than 15 years ago – starting work on the shopfloor – and has been supported and encouraged to expand her skills base. Now Head of UK Sales, Andrea said she was looking forward to an even brighter future for the company.

“Pennine Healthcare has always been a great place to work and feels like one big family with everyone committed to playing their part in the company.

“This news is the ultimate recognition that we are all truly valued and there is a terrific buzz across the whole company.

“Although it will be good to have the opportunity for annual dividends, I know that it will encourage everyone to take far more interest in what we do and how well we do it.

“It is the opportunity for us all to become far more engaged in how we can make the best products and provide a top quality service for our current and new customers both in the UK and across the world.”

E-commerce Manager Dan Wilson added: “I’ve only been at Pennine for nine months and, during that time, I’ve become a manager and added new members to the team. The ownership news is an amazing opportunity for everyone at Pennine, even those that are relatively new to the business. Really exciting times ahead!”

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