Cheshire-based B2B PR and communications agency Skout has become 100% employee owned through an employee ownership trust (EOT) to secure its long-term independence.
The EOT now has a 100% controlling interest in the business, acting as a guardian of its values and culture, and ensuring its direction remains in employees’ best interests. Founder Rob Skinner and director Claire Lamb will continue to serve on the management team for the foreseeable future.
According to the agency, the decision to establish the trust is part of its pledge to prioritise its team’s career development, satisfaction and purpose, and the business’ succession and direction.
Lamb said: “Much of the success Skout has enjoyed is down to the commitment of our brilliant team and we want to recognise and reward that. They live and breathe Skout’s values and as we transition to employee ownership, we’re not only giving them true ownership, but also securing our future and continuing to work towards being one of the best agencies to work for in the UK.”
Throughout the process, Skout was supported by specialist employee ownership consultancy Baxendale as well as Cactus, a corporate advisory and growth consultancy for agencies.
Simon Everingham, EOT manager at Baxendale, added: “We are proud to have advised and supported Skout in their transition to employee ownership, a move which secures the independence of the business for the future. It was a real priority for Rob and Claire, and the entire Skout team, that any transition in ownership protected the ethos, values and identity of the business going forward, which is exactly what their sale to an EOT enables.
“Majority EOT ownership means the shares are held in trust for the benefit of current and future employees, meaning that all the employees of Skout have a real stake in the business and its future. It has been a pleasure working with the Skout team, and we look forward to them going from strength to strength with their new ownership model.”