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Kilmac now in employee ownership 5/5 (1)

ONE of Scotland’s most successful civil engineering contracting companies is adopting employee ownership – guaranteeing the future of 130 jobs.

Tayside-based, Kilmac Limited, is being placed in an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) by its founders Athole McDonald and Richard Kilcullen, 18 years after its inception.

With an annual turnover of £20m and current projects in its portfolio including the transformation of Perth City Hall and the latest development phase of the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, the transaction was supported by by Kilmac’s accountants Azets, legal advisors Thorntons Solicitors, and employee ownership specialists Ownership Associates.

Owners Athole and Richard, both civil engineers who started the business in 2004 after meeting earlier at Dundee Institute of Technology, plan to remain in place for at least the next three years.

Athole, 53, said: “We have to look to the future and by creating an EOT, Kilmac will be in the safe hands of our excellent senior management team. It’s good news for Tayside, with the vast majority of our staff living in Dundee, Perthshire and Fife, and it ensures the company will continue to provide stability for our customers and job security for our employees.”

Kilmac acts as the main contractor for local authorities, universities, local health services, road network authorities, council direct labour organisations and private clients, and is the leading groundworks contractor for commercial, social infrastructure and housing projects.

From a first-year annual turnover of around £800,000, by 2018 Kilmac had achieved revenues of £10 million, and with a strategy of expanding its operational footprint beyond its traditional Tayside heartland, the company’s next financial results will show profits of £1.3 million on a £20 million turnover.

Athole added: “We have come a long way from the days when our biggest headache was getting the photocopier to work and stop the kitchen worktop being covered in ink. We knew what we wanted to deliver and have remained true to our principles.

“We could have found a buyer for the business but we have an experienced and talented team who are more than capable of taking on the reins over the next few years. The structure is being created to take the business forward, provide clarity to our staff and customers and to avoid unnecessary disruption.”

Kilmac joins a number of successful businesses in the area who have opted for an employee ownership trust structure and the move has been warmly welcomed by staff.

Finance manager Julie Scobie said: “Kilmac has always felt like a big family and it’s comforting for everyone to know that Athole and Richard have full confidence in their staff to be able to hand the legacy of their company into employee ownership as they navigate their next steps.”

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