Highland timber and building supplies business hands ownership to 24 staff

A Highland timber and building supplies business has guaranteed the future of more than 20 jobs after making the switch to employee ownership.

Caley Timber and Building Supplies was established by Donald John Morrison in 2003, and runs depots in Inverness and Uist.

With Morrison opting for retirement but rejecting an open sale of the business, he decided in favour of entering into an employee ownership trust (EOT). Morrison’s wife, Jennifer, was also a co-owner of the company.

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The move means that the business will be placed under the stewardship of its 24 staff, with Ewan Urquhart, who has been with the company since its inception, promoted to the board as director. Alistair Sim remains a director and will assume more responsibilities as Morrison reduces his time with the firm.

Caley Timber and Building Supplies was established by Donald John Morrison in 2003, and runs depots in Inverness and Uist. Picture: Duncan Simpson

He said: “An EOT was a less intrusive option and we did not have to share sensitive information with prospective purchasers, the timing has been controlled to suit the business, and it also avoided the risk of unsettling our staff who may have picked up that the business was for sale.

“We value the relationships we have built with our customers, their loyalty and support are what’s made Caley Timber the very successful business it has become, and an EOT means business simply continues as is.”

The idea of the EOT was introduced by Donald Forsyth of the firm’s accountant, Saffery Champness.

Forsyth, who joins the Caley board as non-executive director, added: “A sale to an EOT is proving to be a popular option for Highland business owners.”

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