Fitzgerald Contractors Moves to Employee Ownership

Anthony Collins Solicitors has worked with Birmingham-based civil engineering contractor Fitzgerald Contractors on its transfer into an employee ownership trust.

Fitzgerald Contractors specialises in completing infrastructure, highways and public realm schemes across the UK, with an annual turnover of £30 million. The company currently employs 120 people and will celebrate its 75th anniversary next year. The transaction was completed by director Nick Coley, who acquired Fitzgerald Contractors from Bouygues UK in 2013. He and the board of directors will remain in their current roles.

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

The team at Anthony Collins Solicitors advised on the detail of the transaction structure, created the trust and the trustee company, drafted the necessary legal agreements and all associated documents, and saw the transaction through to completion. Partner David Alcock led the transaction with support from solicitor Felicity Hercik.

“Employee ownership is a big shift. The valuation of the business and how the views of employees will be heard in the new structure are important factors to be considered”, commented Alcock. “But if you get those things right, all the research shows that it can be a real step forward for the business”.

Accountancy firm Mazars also advised on the transaction.

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