Dundee building services company is latest to become owned by workers

More than 50 members of staff at a Dundee-based building engineering services company have been given control of the firm after it became Scotland's latest employee-owned business.

Founded in 1980, Scan Building Services operates in the construction industry as a specialist contractor. Picture: Contributed

Founded in 1980, Scan Building Services operates in the construction industry as a specialist contractor, providing services such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing systems. It has an annual turnover of almost £4 million.

The transfer to employee ownership sees previous owner David Anderson selling 100 per cent of the shares to an employee ownership trust, which is holding them on behalf of the workers.

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The deal is said to have been structured in order to make it affordable to the business without affecting its ability to “reward the team and reinvest for the future”. The plan is to also introduce an enterprise management incentives (EMI) scheme for senior management.

Graham Prophet, part of the senior management team at Scan, said: “Throughout the years we have endeavoured to provide the best possible quality of products and services to our clients and to pride ourselves in the standard of the work we provide.

“To do this we employ a highly skilled workforce of dedicated and local craftsmen, many of whom trained through the company’s apprenticeship scheme. So when we were considering our options for future ownership of the business, we wanted to ensure the jobs were retained in Dundee and the staff were rewarded for any success.

“Employee ownership ticked all of those boxes and following a feasibility study last year, we knew it was the best option for us.”

The transition to employee ownership was supported by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), with the process managed by Henderson Loggie.

Rod Mathers, partner at Henderson Loggie, said: “Employee ownership is a very tax efficient option for business owners to realise their investment and pass ownership on to employees to reward and motivate them to continue to grow the business. [We have] been Scan’s advisers for over 20 years and we’re delighted to have assisted them with this transition.”

Sarah Deas, director at CDS, added: “The previous owner, along with the senior management team, wanted an ownership solution that not only ensured the business remained rooted in Dundee, but also that the long-serving members of staff would be rewarded for future success.”