It was a real privilege to support Shore Group in their move to employee ownership. The Leith based firm has a world-wide reputation for the design of ground-breaking medical and pharmaceutical devices that deliver improved outcomes for patients. The company began in 2003 and now employs 30 people.
Founder, Nick Foley, wanted to find a business structure that meant Shore was well placed to grow and flourish, retaining the ability to deliver innovative design in such a critical sector. His key aspirations were to:
- Protect the job security of the employees
- Safeguard the long-term success of the company
- Identifying a solution that retained the values and ethos of the company
- Enabled a long-term succession plan to be put in place, at a pace that suits the business
Nick has no plans to leave Shore, certainly not in the short to medium term; his key driver was to ensure continuity for the customers, the employees and the company. He believes a majority sale to an Employee Ownership Trust was the best way to do this.
Nick engaged Ownership Associates to explore how employee ownership might work for him and Shore. OAUK pulled together a project team including Anderson Strathern as legal advisers and Shore’s accountants, Scholes. Nick decided to sell a majority of his shareholding to an Employee Ownership Trust. However, he retains a significant percentage as a mark of his ongoing commitment to Shore and its employees.
The news of the planned move to employee ownership was received enthusiastically by employees. It meant that the independence of the firm is retained and the future of Shore is secure. The company completed the transition to employee ownership in March 2020. The team were able to celebrate but decided to delay any public announcement due to the Covid19 lockdown.
Will Davies was elected by his colleagues to serve as an employee Trustee. Nick Foley will also be a Trustee and remains as Managing Director.
Nick Foley says, “Employee ownership allows the talented team at Shore to continue to do what they do best. Businesses must evolve and I believe the path we have chosen is the right one.”
Will says: “This is a very positive development for Shore and one from which I have no doubt that both our customers and employees will benefit. Our future is in our own hands and what better motivation to ensure that the company continues to deliver the best products to our customers, and also enable us to attract the best talent. We’re all very grateful to Nick for taking this step and giving us this great opportunity.”
Nick was delighted with the support received from OAUK. He says, “Ownership Associates helped us navigate through the process and achieve such a good outcome.”
The company has continued to trade successfully over the past few months. Nick believes the move to employee ownership reinforced the great team spirit that exists at Shore. The company is in a strong position to take on the challenges ahead and is looking forward to a bright future.