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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
BusinessFutureserv looks ahead to new possibilities with transition to employee ownership

Futureserv looks ahead to new possibilities with transition to employee ownership

Manchester-based engineering consultancy Futureserv is set to join a growing number of employee-owned businesses across the UK, as it announced that its team of 60+ employees have taken a stake in the business, transferring ownership to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).  The trust will hold the shares on behalf of the company’s employees, with its founders, Craig and David Cleary, retaining a minority stake.

Founded in 2010, Futureserv is a building services design and consultancy practice providing mechanical, electrical, public health and vertical transportation advice to construction, facilities and property professionals across all sectors of the built environment. Projects it has advised on include New Victoria residential towers, redevelopment of Hanover House and St Johns Towers in Manchester; The  Central Village redevelopment and the University of Liverpool’s Yoko Ono Lennon Centre in Liverpool; and  over a million square feet at the new Aire Park development in Leeds City Centre.

Over the past decade the business has grown considerably. In 2014 it opened a second office in Old Hall Street, Liverpool, where it now has 20 staff, and in 2018 opened its first office in Leeds, where it now has 14 people.

Azets, led by Jenny Pape and Tim Mills with support from Amy Braithwaite, provided tax and corporate finance advice to Futureserv’s founders, whilst Keith Melling and Victoria Bromiley from Napthens solicitors provided legal advice on the transfer in ownership. HSBC provided a senior debt facility to support the transaction.

Craig Cleary, founder at Futureserv, said: “Today marks a new chapter in Futureserv’s history. Ever since our first hires joined the business, we have retained a real sense of family across Futureserv, so it felt a natural next step in our journey to transfer to employee ownership. This model gives everyone the opportunity to take a stake in the business’ future and feel a real sense of ownership of Futureserv, from our staff through to our partners and clients. I’d like to share thanks to our senior leadership team and all our staff, as well as Napthens, Azets and HSBC, for their support throughout this process.”

Dave Cleary, founder at Futureserv, said:. “As a building services consultancy, our greatest asset will always be our talented team of engineers and support staff. Moving to an employee owned business will ensure that Futureserv’s continued success provides benefits for all and also help attract the brightest, forward thinking candidates in the future. Over the last 12 years witnessing the company grow to over 60 staff across three office locations has been incredible, the new structure provides both a succession plan and opens up clear opportunities for career progression.

“I would like to congratulate all our colleagues at Futureserv on achieving this very significant milestone with special thanks to our advisers for assisting us along the exciting journey to become an employee owned company.”

Keith Melling, head of corporate and partner at Napthens, said: “David and Craig have done a remarkable job with Futureserv over the past twelve years and it’s inspiring to see the team they have built over that time take the reins. Employee ownership is an increasingly popular option for owners looking to pass the business they have built from scratch into trusted hands. As a firm, we are speaking with more owner-managed businesses about the prospect, with the model having considerable cross-sector appeal.”

Jenny Pape, Tax Partner at Azets said: “Futureserv is a business exceptionally well-suited for employee ownership, being an organisation with a strong culture, firmly established values, and an emphasis on the quality of its people. It has been a privilege to assist Craig and David with this significant transition and I am confident that the company has a bright future as an employee-owned business.”

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