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3P innovation Announces Transition to Employee-Ownership

Award-winning, UK based engineering and process automation company, 3P innovation Ltd, is proud to announce that it is now an employee-owned company. This transition has been taken to secure its long-term future, for the benefit of customers and employees alike.

3P was founded in Warwick, UK in 2006 by a group of like-minded engineers with a passion for quality engineering, high performance machinery, innovation and collaboration. 3P has grown rapidly, working closely with clients to create ground-breaking manufacturing solutions across a variety of sectors. In 2018, they moved to a new, purpose-built facility in Warwick and has since doubled turnover.

Having worked hard to build the business over the last 14 years, founders Tom Bailey and Dave Seaward came to the realisation that the employees, who are responsible for so much of the success of 3P, will be the best successors for ongoing and long-term ownership of the business.

An Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) was a natural succession model for Tom and Dave. This was influenced by the many positive benefits associated with the EOT model.  Businesses which move to Employee Ownership are typically renowned for having a family-like, open, collaborative culture, characterised by customer focus, innovation, independence from corporate control, agility and a sense of social responsibility. The founding members have always sought to foster this kind of culture in the business, encouraging every employee to have a voice, to contribute new ideas and to influence the future direction of the business for mutual benefit.

Tom Bailey, Managing Director, said, “As the founders of 3P, both Dave Seaward and I feel a genuine obligation to our customers and employees alike to continue to provide a strong and secure platform for sustained growth and development of the business. 3P has always fostered positive employee engagement to ensure we work tirelessly in close partnership with our customers; It is our employees past and present who are responsible for the success we currently enjoy. Becoming an Employee-Owned business will ensure that these values remain embedded within the business for the long term.”

This announcement comes after 3P celebrated their most successful year to date, achieving record turnover and annual growth of almost 40%.

“Since the company was founded in 2006, we have grown rapidly year-on-year,” explained Dr Dave Seaward, Projects Director.  “Core to our growth is our investment in the skills of our people. Handing over the business to our employees was an easy decision as it was the natural choice for 3P.  An EOT will not only protect our values, but also safeguard jobs and provide stability and longevity of the business. Our clients, who value our technical skills, can now be assured of ‘business as usual’ into the long term.”

Andy Street, former boss of a very famous employee-owned business, and now Mayor of the West Midlands, agrees; “It’s great to see another dynamic company join the ranks of employee ownership. As a previous Managing Director of John Lewis, I’ve always believed that employee-owned companies could compete with, and beat, conventional companies. By harnessing the commitment of all employees to a common cause, there is no limit to a business’s potential. Congratulations to 3P on making the change and good luck to all the new owners.”

Tom and Dave will remain with 3P for some time to come. Both will remain as directors of 3P innovation Ltd trading board. They also become Trustees on the EOT Board, alongside an independent Trustee, Gary Davie of Legal Clarity Ltd and an employee trustee.  The employee trustee will be elected by staff later this year, once the 3P employee council is formed.

3P were congratulated by the CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, Deb Oxley, who said, “We congratulate 3P on its move to employee ownership, putting the business into the hands of those who know it best – its employees. Businesses that give employees a stake and a say build trust and shared responsibility, therefore uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose. This leaves the business in a better position to flex and adapt.”

Earlier this year, 3P were awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for their Fill2Weight powder micro-dosing technology. They have also recently been awarded “UK Business Hero 2020” status by the British Chambers of Commerce for the contribution they have made to supporting NHS and front-line care workers during the pandemic – producing 30,000 visors free of charge.

Acknowledgements:

“Any change in company structure is complex and the formation of an employee owned trust can be especially challenging. 3P would therefore like to thank the various expert companies whose excellent advice ensured the process went smoothly. Special thanks must go to Gary Davie of Legal Clarity for acting on behalf of the trust. He acted for the trust regarding the share purchase agreement and trust articles and has joined the Trust board as an independent trustee.  BDO provided support with respect to all tax advice, company valuation, liaising with HMRC and ensuring the trust structure met all the necessary legal requirements.  Wright Hassall, who have worked with 3P since inception, provided invaluable legal support, acting on behalf of the founders in drafting all transaction documents and tending to the completion.  Finally, we would like to thank Ian Hiscock of IHC for sharing his extensive employee trust engagement experience. He is currently engaging with 3P employees and providing expert advice with respect to the formation of our 3P Employee Council.”

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