Welsh building contractor Carreg Construction has transferred to employee ownership 20 years after its foundation in 2003.
The business, which employs 21 people, was founded by Andrew and Sue Phillips. Andrew Phillips agreed to stay on as director to help guide the development of the business alongside the employee ownership trust (EOT).
Carreg Construction explored the option of employee ownership prior to the pandemic, and revisited the option after discussing it with other organisations that had made the transition.
Along with Andrew Phillips and fellow director Amy Morgan, Richard Leyshon, head of construction, was appointed as a director.
Non-executive director Sion Morgan will continue his role, joined by Peter Griffiths OBE, former chief executive offiver (CEO) of Sainsbury’s Banking Group and Principality Building Society.
An EOT board was formed comprised of Morgan, site supervisor and carpenter Luke Roberts, and independent trustee Andy Jones, former CEO of the Port of Milford Haven Port.
Carreg Construction was advised on the transition by Social Business Wales, provided by Cwmpas, as well as EOT specialist Alun Thomas. Geldards advised the EOT on the acquisition of Carreg Construction from the Phillips family.
Andrew Phillips said: “We looked to put the business on the open market for sale, but it just didn’t feel right, so after discussing our plans further with colleagues in the industry, who explained that EOT wasn’t an overnight sale and that it could be done gradually, it became the perfect progression for us.
“We can keep the continuity and skills in the business, and I can eventually pass the business over fully to the EOT directors, once they have settled in. It really is the perfect succession solution for us.”
Morgan added: “We are really excited about becoming an EOT. The future is bright for Carreg. Having worked closely over the years with local company Melin Tregwynt which transitioned to an EOT 12 months ago, it gave us huge confidence that we could also make this significant change to our family business.
“Having worked for Carreg for 10 years, I am really pleased that my parents can now start reducing their time in the business, but also I am delighted that we can continue the company with the same ethos.’’
Branwen Ellis, specialist EO Consultant for Social Business Wales, said: “We were so pleased when Carreg Construction came full circle and came to feel that an EOT was the best succession solution for [it].
“Going down this route, has enabled the owners to put their own plan in place in line with their own timescales, expectations and values. As Andrew and Sue have discovered, the EOT model enables them to slowly and securely pass their business onto the next generation of the Carreg team, ensuring the long term sustainability of the business, employees’ jobs and the couple’s legacy.”