Civil and structural engineering consultancy Perega has become employee-owned, after rebranding and changing its name from Thomasons as part of a move to overhaul its corporate brand identity, which includes strengthening its focus on employees and clients.
Perega announced on 18 October 2019 that it had to an employee ownership trust (EOT) structure. This is an indirect form of ownership whereby the majority shares of an organisation are held in a trust on behalf of staff. Shareholders must sell a minimum of 51% of shares to the trust, and are then able to pay staff an income-free tax bonus of up to £3,600 per employee per year.
The restructure and transfer to employee ownership were coordinated by Leeds-based law firm Blacks Solicitors, while the corporate rebranding was consulted on by Urbane.
Perega’s shareholders have made the move to employee ownership as an opportunity to increase engagement by giving staff more potential to collaborate and lead within the business.
Fraser Robb, managing director at Perega, says: “With foundations as a family business, we deeply value the people who make up Perega, including our team and our clients. We wanted to combine our history with a forward thinking approach. That’s what this change is really about: ensuring the longevity, independence and reputation of the business so it can continue to provide high quality services.
“We recognise the benefit of encouraging and nurturing our people to help make the business better, rather than assuming the directors have all the answers. As such, we worked on improving communication, engagement and management. Becoming an [EOT] feels like a natural next step.”
Alex Hall, a chartered legal executive, corporate and commercial, at Blacks, added: “It has been fantastic to work with [Perega] and advise a longstanding client on reorganising its ownership structure for the next generation. We are honoured to have been a part of the business’ journey and look forward to seeing what this new chapter will mean for them.”
Andy Freeman, creative director at Urbane, said: “Working closely with key stakeholders we quickly identified the passion, expertise and collaborative spirit that already existed in the business. We wanted to create a brand that was positive and optimistic, and one which the business could collectively own.
“Perega is the result of collaboration and a team that all along were open to new ideas and change. We think the results are exciting, and we sincerely believe Perega [has] a bright future.”