Geldards help communications agency Orchard Media transition to an Employee Ownership Trust

Geldards, one of the leading advisors on Employee Ownership Trusts, is advising award-winning communications agency Orchard Media and Events Group on the transition to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Established 14 years ago, Orchard provides creative communications services to clients across Wales and internationally, working with some major household names such as Netflix, BBC, National Geographic and Quatar Airlines.

Alastair Wilson, Orchard Andrew Evans, Geldards

Pictured: Alastair Wilson, Orchard & Andrew Evans, Geldards

From 1st October, the original founders will hand over ownership to the 70 strong team of staff, and an employee-owned trust will own and manage the company, safeguarding the future of the business.

The popularity of EOTs has been rising over the past few years as a way to give employees a stake in the future success of a business, whilst retaining company legacy and safeguarding jobs in the local area.

Welsh Government is looking to double the number of businesses in Wales that are employee-owned by 2026 (from 2022), and supports the Employee Ownership Wales service at the development agency Cwmpas to ensure Wales-based companies remain in Welsh hands.

Geldards advised Orchard Media and Events Group on the transition to an Employee Ownership Trust, on the formation of an EOT, the purchase by the EOT of the entire share capital and the process of engaging with the employees on the transaction.

Tax Partner Andrew Evans led the deal advising on all legal aspects of the transaction supported by Corporate Partner Alex Butler and solicitor Mina Dimitrova.

Commenting on the transaction, Andrew Evans, Partner at Geldards said:

“Geldards is delighted to be trusted with advising on the transition of Orchard to employee ownership. The shareholders, management team and employees have been very receptive to the idea of employee ownership and a desire to adopt “best practice” in terms of employee engagement to make the transition a success and the basis for future growth in the business.”

Orchard co-founder and outgoing Operations Director Al Wilson said:

“When we looked at the options for succession planning, the EOT model stood out for us as a way to repay the hard work and commitment of the team here, and give them this huge opportunity to take Orchard into an exciting future. The ethos behind EOTs aligns well with the values we’ve nurtured in the company, and we know that the leadership and wider team are the people best placed to benefit from its future success.

“We‘re grateful to Andrew Evans at Geldards and Paul Cantrill, a Corporate Advisor with Cwmpas for their specialist EOT knowledge and invaluable support in getting us to this point.”

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