Employees take Ownership of Pennine Healthcare in Derby.

Pennine Healthcare, the Derby based manufacturer of medical devices has been taken into Employee Ownership, in a move that safeguards UK manufacturing for the well-known business, established in the 1970’s.


Richard McNeilly

The outgoing shareholders, led by Luke Fryer, Chief Executive, Liz Fothergill CBE, Chairman and David Shaw, Technical Director, decided against a sale to several potential international buyers and worked alongside advisors Dains Accountants and Geldards Solicitors to create Pennine Employee Ownership Trust.

The Trust will run the business for the current and future benefit of its Employees, in a change which is consistent with the long-held values of the company and cites ongoing people development and investment at the heart of its success.

‘Employee ownership is becoming an increasingly popular model, used by progressive UK businesses. Legislation to permit employee ownership has been around for 7 years and each year we see more activity within high quality businesses, such as Pennine Healthcare.

‘This business has been in Derby for over 40 years and was established when the founder, Ivor Shaw manufactured a three-pronged walking stick to enable his disabled mother to pick up her knitting wool. During the past 12 months, the business has been a key supplier to the NHS, in the fight against COVID-19. The shareholders have created a fantastic legacy – the business is in strong financial health, has a talented workforce and an excellent reputation nationally and internationally’ comments Richard McNeilly, Managing Partner of Dains Accountants and lead advisor on the transaction.

Debra Martin of Geldards continued ‘Dains and Geldards have independently completed 6 employee ownership transactions in the last month, which confirms the level of activity in the market for this type of transaction. Through early engagement, more businesses can consider employee ownership as an alternative to MBO or trade sale and whilst the model is not suitable for all businesses, there are many advantages, not least allowing outgoing shareholders to build a lasting legacy’.

Luke Fryer concluded ‘The team at Dains explained the benefits of employee ownership, which fits perfectly with the future of Pennine. We are delighted with the outcome for everyone involved and it is great to be able to access this specialist knowledge here in Derby’.

Lead Advisory and Tax advice was provided by Richard McNeilly, Rob Wilson and Adam Longmore of Dains Accountants. Legal advice to Pennine Employee Ownership Trust was provided by Debra Martin and Andrew Evans of Geldards LLP. Legal Advice to the shareholders was provided by Fraser Cunningham of Smith Partnership.

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