Lincolnshire-based manufacturer Lebus Upholstery and Furniture has announced that it has become employee owned.
The shareholders decided to sell 100% of their shares to employees in order to secure jobs and protect the organisation’s long-term future, with an employee ownership trust (EOT) taking control with immediate effect.
According to the company, the move to employee ownership maintains 480 jobs on the site in Scunthorpe, along with hundreds of others in the supply chain. The directors and management will remain in place to continue the success of the business, which was established in 1840.
A spokesperson for the directors explained that Lebus Upholstery and Furniture wanted to remain within the Scunthorpe area and continue to be a major employer there, and that the EOT provided the “perfect” compromise.
“Private equity was not something we wanted to consider and a trade sale, while attractive to shareholders, would not have guaranteed the security and continued employment of many of our colleagues who have made such great contributions to the success of the business in recent years,” the spokesperson said.
The EOT ensures the continuity and integrity of the business, while fully engaging a committed workforce in the knowledge that they will all share in its future success, according to Lebus Upholstery and Furniture. In addition, it reassures the customer base that the organisation has taken steps to protect both its employees and supply chain for the long term.
Councillor Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, added that this is “great” news for the area as it safeguards hundreds of jobs at a major manufacturer and more in its supply chain.
“This provides a real vote of confidence in the hard working and dedicated staff and in the local economy. We will continue to work with Lebus and look forward to them being even more successful in the coming years,” he said.