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Bosses of Lichfield freight firm set to hand over ownership of the business to employees

The owners of a Lichfield freight firm have begun to hand over ownership to their workers.

Espace Europe Ltd has moved to an employee ownership model – similar to that operated by John Lewis – after 17 years in a bid to “secure the long-term future of the business”.

Fifteen members of staff at the company, which handles freight for the automotive, aerospace, plastics and packaging sectors, will now see shares transferred into an ownership trust, meaning they will be able to help influence the immediate future of the business.

Members of the Espace Europe team set to benefit from the new employee ownership model

Members of the Espace Europe team set to benefit from the new employee ownership model

Tony Shally, managing director at Espace Europe Ltd, said: “Choosing to adopt an employee ownership model is one stage of our exit strategy and what better way to leave the business than in the hands of those who know it the best.

“Thinking about the future, we had no desire to sell or split up the business, and indirect ownership offered us an opportunity to secure the legacy of the business and reward our all of our staff members in the process.

“We pride ourselves on the strong vision held by everyone at the business, helping to ensure that we are not only the best in our class, but trusted and respected by our customers and staff alike.

“This move marks a huge day for our business and we look forward to many more successful years.”

The process of switching to the new ownership model was guided by legal firm Shakespeare Martineau and Odyssey Corporate Finance.

Gary Davie, head of employee ownership at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “Choosing employee ownership is a powerful move. It has the ability to empower staff members to not only help carry a business going forward but also to take a more active and involved role in both its day-to-day and long-term success.

“Espace Europe has marked itself out as a business that really cares for its employees and I’m sure it will continue to be successful going forward.

“Above all, the decision to move to an employee-owned structure is one that will benefit customers and provide security for long-term commercial relationships.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.