Cheadle engineering consultancy, Otto Simon Holdings, has become employee-owned, with the company’s chairman transferring shares in the £20 million turnover business into an employee ownership trust. Stockport accountants, Hurst, advised on the transaction.
Otto Simon was founded in 2004 and provides design and build, project management, operation and maintenance and manufacturing services to global customers in the steel, petrochemical and renewable energy sectors. As well as its Cheadle headquarters, the engineering consultancy has sites in Stalybridge, Rotherham and Forfar. The company has 170 staff.
Steve Haywood, the group’s co-founder and chairman, acquired full control of the company in 2008, when its annual turnover was just £2m.
Since then Otto Simon has grown organically by expanding its global customer base and by diversifying into emerging sectors such as waste-to-energy and biofuels, as well as through two acquisitions.
The day-to-day running of the Otto Simon group of companies will now be led by the directors of its four divisions, Chris Bridgland, Nick Shaw, Richard Buckley and Gary McCombie.
Employee ownership trusts were introduced by the government in 2014 and HURST has a specialist team to advise companies on their creation. Nigel Barratt (pictured below), partner and head of HURST Corporate Finance, and Liz Gallagher of the tax team advised Otto Simon.
I advised Steve in 2008 and helped with the subsequent acquisitions. It’s really pleasing to see the latest transaction conclude his long-held ambition for the company.”Nigel Barratt, partner and head of Hurst Corporate Finance.
Otto Simon Holdings’ Steve Haywood said:
My view has been that employee ownership would be the best way of preserving our culture and ethos when the time came for me to step down.
“We have created a great team to ensure that the business has strong foundations for future growth and I know it is in safe hands.
“I have had great advice from Nigel and Rob over the years and I really appreciate HURST and LLM supporting us through a highly-complex transaction with great skill and professionalism.”
Rob Loveday of Manchester law firm LLM Solicitors provided legal advice for the Cheadle engineering firm.