Civils firm becomes employee-owned | Construction News

Civils firm Fitzgerald Contractors has become the latest firm to be sold to an employee-ownership trust.

The company, which turned over £17.1m in the year to March 2021, was a subsidiary of Thomas Vale until it was acquired by managing director Nick Coley in 2013, after its parent company was bought by Bouygues UK.

A statement from the contractor said that Coley and the existing board of directors will remain in place in their current roles, “with employee ownership providing greater opportunities for staff to influence business decisions through the formation of an employee council”.

The move will give all 120 employees a stake in the company. The statement added that this would help with staff retention during the current skills shortage and help it attract new staff.

Coley said: “We consider that an employee-ownership trust model is ideally suited to Fitzgerald’s philosophy and the thinking behind employee ownership has businesses exactly like ours in mind.

“This is a very exciting stage in the company’s history and safeguards Fitzgerald’s future for the benefit of all employees.”

A company spokesperson said it is on course to achieve £30m turnover in its 2021/22 financial year.

There has been a growing trend for private owners to sell their businesses to employee-ownership trusts in recent years, following the implementation of the Finance Act 2014, which allowed the sales to take place without incurring capital gains tax.

Dozens of companies have turned to the model in recent years including Buckingham Group, Briggs & Forrester and Readie Construction.

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