Sports surface firm that's worked on Gleneagles and Hampden Park moves to employee ownership

A Scottish sports surface specialist has moved to employee ownership, securing its long-term future.

Greentech Sportsturf becomes the latest business to set up an employee ownership trust (EOT) to hold 100 per cent of the firm and put it into the hands of the people who work for it.

Started in 1998 by Kevin Brunton, Hugh Murray, and the late Tom Brannan, the company, which is based in Throsk, near Stirling, has grown successfully over the years and has worked on world-renowned fields of play such as Gleneagles, St Andrews Links, Hampden Park and Murrayfield Stadium.

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With Murray now retired the directors wanted to look at an ownership succession option which secured the long-term future of the business, its employees and would work well for clients and founders too.

Greentech Sportsturf becomes the latest business to set up an employee ownership trust to hold 100 per cent of the firm and put it into the hands of the people who work for it.

Brunton said: “The establishment of employee ownership through the EOT at Greentech Sportsturf will provide continued job security for all staff.

“It will also enable the employees to have collective control of their future, directly benefit from the ongoing success of the business and to continue to deliver market-leading projects in the design, construction, renovation and maintenance of sports surfaces.”

He described employee ownership as good news for clients too, providing a secure outlook for the business.

“Employee ownership means clients need not be concerned with Greentech Sportsturf being acquired and the potential associated disruption that can lead to,” he added.

“They can feel secure in the knowledge that we will continue to deliver the highest quality sports surfaces projects with our talented team of people and the best technologies for the job in hand. It also gives the co-founders the opportunity to consider retirement and eventual exit from the business in a planned manner, mentoring the successor team whilst withdrawing slowly and ensuring continued growth and success.”

Eric Carroll, financial controller at Greentech Sportsturf, added: “I’m delighted that Kevin and Hugh have chosen this option for ownership of the business and I think this is great news for all the staff at Greentech Sportsturf. Each one of us now has a stake in the business and can share in the success and profits that are made going forward.”

Employee ownership is growing in popularity, with a string of deals announced in recent months. Advocates of the business model point to studies that have demonstrated that employee owned firms are more resilient and are proven to weather economic cycles better than most.

Last month, an Edinburgh-based print and design firm with 30 members of staff moved to employee ownership.

Launched from the living room of couple Bob and Joelle Kirkpatrick’s home in the middle of the 2008 financial crash, Wee Blue Coo has established itself as a successful business, dispatching thousands of products globally each week and selling its products across several online marketplaces.

The company founders were both made redundant in 2006 before setting up their business, creating posters from public domain images to retail on eBay. They now have a team of 30 people – some of whom have been employed for more than ten years – with the business generating an annual revenue of more than £2 million.

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Edinburgh print and design firm with 30 staff moves to employee ownership

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