BDO advises 3P innovation on employee ownership transaction

3p Inovation Opening

Accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO LLP, has advised 3P innovation Limited on the sale of the Warwick-based business to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

The newly-formed EOT – a special form of employee benefit trust – has acquired 100% of the company shares in a deal that secures the long-term future of the award-winning business.

The sale of the engineering and process automation company is part of a comprehensive succession plan that will enable 3P to protect its core values, while helping to safeguard jobs and provide stability and longevity for the business.

Tom Bailey and Dave Seaward, who founded the business in 2006, will remain as directors of the 3P innovation Ltd trading board. They will also become trustees on the EOT Board, alongside 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.

Tom Bailey, Managing Director of 3P, 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.”

3P was advised by Paul Twist, associate director at BDO, Gary Davie, partner at Legal Clarity Limited, who acted on behalf of the trust; John Dormer and Jeremy Hyde at Wright Hassall, who provided legal advice for 3P and the sellers; and Ian Hiscock of IHC.

Paul Twist commented: “The formation of an Employee Ownership Trust was a natural succession model for 3P to adopt. Not only does an EOT address any issues about the future ownership of the business but, importantly, it helps to preserve and enhance the company’s strong, collaborative culture which Tom and Dave have expertly nurtured over the last 14 years.

“As all employees get an indirect stake in the company, there can be substantial practical benefits associated with being owned by an EOT. This includes greater employee engagement and commitment; greater drive for innovation; and improved business performance.”

3P has celebrated its most successful year to date, achieving record turnover and annual growth of almost 40 per cent. In 2020, it was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for its Fill2Weight powder micro-dosing technology. The company was also recently awarded ‘UK Business Hero 2020’ status by the British Chambers of Commerce for the contribution it has made in supporting NHS and front-line care workers during the pandemic – producing 30,000 visors free of charge.