Optimum Coatings transfers to employee ownership

By Tim Aldred

11 Apr 2024

Optimum Coatings

Morecambe-based Optimum Coatings has been sold to its 71 employees through a newly-created Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) which now owns 100 per cent of the company’s shares.

Optimum manufactures ophthalmic lenses for opticians, optical laboratories, and hospitals around the world.

It is a one-stop shop offering complex prescription Rx lenses, advanced speciality lenses, free-form lenses, coating, and glazing services.

Paul Bailey and Mark Marland, Optimum's directors, said: "We deeply value the talent and dedication of our team members. That's why we've embraced this change to acknowledge their hard work in a meaningful way. Our employees now have a stake in the company through trust, solidifying our commitment to long-term success and sustainability.

“We see this change as an incredible opportunity for growth and innovation. As an EOT company, we anticipate heightened employee engagement and productivity, resulting in even better service for our customers. This move also guarantees the stability of the company, safeguarding the interests of both our employees and valued clients.”

Accountants and business advisors Beever and Struthers and law firm Brabners jointly advised on the deal.

The Beever and Struthers’ team led by corporate finance director Dean Curtis provided corporate finance advice including valuation, assessment of funding options, tax clearance and deal structuring with support from corporate finance manager Patrick Wilson and audit partner Iain Round.

Dean Curtis said: “Employee Ownership Trusts have become increasingly popular as an exit route for business owners. The EOT structure offers a route for businesses to preserve their independence and culture, as well as maintaining the integrity of the business."

Legal advice was provided by a specialist EOT team at Brabners led by senior associate Mairead Platt, assisted by Danielle Phillips.

Both Brabners and Beever and Struthers are members of the Employee Ownership Association.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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