Employees take control of specialist wholesaler
Business / Mon 21st Jun 2021 at 01:50pm
PEREGRINE Livefoods, Europe’s largest specialist wholesaler of reptile products, has officially made the final payment towards becoming a fully independent employee-owned trust reports Pet Business World
The latest development comes as founders and co-owners Tim Green and David Perry conclude their four-year exit plan. The duo founded the Harlow-based company in 1987, employing more 130 people from the local area during their time running the business.
With an ambition to provide job security for their staff, Tim and Dave strategised a process to sell the company to the existing employees. Appointing Kingsley Tedder as finance director, Kingsley assisted in hiring a management team that would eventually remove the need for Tim and Dave’s daily involvement.
Later, Tim & Dave sold their business to a newly-formed trust company, Peregrine Livefoods Trustee Ltd. The new trust is majority-owned by all the employees, much like the John Lewis model. This allowed the company to pay Tim and Dave for their valuation from the profits over several years, while also enabling the employees to share in a tax-free annual bonus scheme.
In the four years since the handover, managing director Chris Jones, along with a senior team of company executives, have driven significant growth, taking the company from an annual revenue of £14m to £22m today.
Chris Jones said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim, Dave and Kingsley for the opportunity they have provided for me and all the staff here at Peregrine by going through the EOT model. As we’ve now made the final payment, we have freed up capital, which will be invested back into the business to improve our customer offering. Watch this space.”
The final payment to Tim and Dave was made today (June 21) 2021, marking the four-year anniversary of the EOT conception with a change to statutory directors and a new era for Peregrine. Tim, Dave and Kingsley have since all stepped down as statutory directors but will remain working for Peregrine on a consultancy basis as required. Chris Jones continues as managing director.
Now, with more than 170 employees and delivering over 50,000 orders per month to their customers across the UK, Peregrine is looking to the future with ambitious plans and further investment.
Peregrine Livefoods used solicitors Birketts for the move. Lisa Hayward, partner and head of employee incentives at Birketts, said: “It is always a pleasure to assist a client with a move to employee ownership but Birketts is especially delighted to see Peregrine reach this significant milestone sooner than forecasted.
“Beneficial for the local economy as well as employees, watching the company thrive as an employee-owned business before going on to achieve financial independence of the founders, demonstrates perfectly the appeal of an EOT. Moving to an employee ownership model not only sees employees rewarded for their hard work but safeguards an organisation’s legacy and we wish Peregrine every success as they enter this new chapter.”