Ashtons assist Gipping Construction in becoming employee-owned

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Our highly rated Business Client Group is delighted to have advised Gipping Construction in its transition into becoming an employee-owned business with the establishment of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). An EOT is a trust established for the benefit of the company’s employees.

The Ashtons team was led by Craig Fiddaman (Corporate & Commercial), alongside Emily Dixon (Employment) and support from other colleagues from within Ashtons’ Business Client Group.

Gipping Construction is based near Ipswich and works in both the private and public sectors throughout East Anglia with a prestigious portfolio spanning heritage, health, education, commercial and residential projects. The company is proud to work with such clients as Ipswich Borough Council, Babergh and Mid Suffolk Council, Tendring District Council, Greenfield Community Housing, Flagship Housing Group and Eastlight Community Homes, together with many schools, colleges and private clients.

In consideration of the long-term strategic planning of the business, it was felt that transitioning into being employee-owned would build upon the existing culture of the company (which included already having had an employee benefit trust in place for some years) and would provide for the financial security and longevity of the company.

Gipping Construction is headed up by joint managing directors Paul Orriss and Andy Laflin, and following the transition on 24 August 2023, Paul and Andy will work with the directors of the EOT to continue the future growth and financial security of the company.

Paul said: “The company is committed to placing its people at the heart of its culture, and I believe that the transition will maximise employee engagement and commitment – for their benefit and that of the clients that the company works with”.

The Ashtons team worked together with a team from Scrutton Bland (who provided governance, tax and financial advice on the sale to the EOT) to enable the company to effect the transition.

Craig comments: “It was a pleasure to work alongside the teams from Scrutton Bland and Gipping Construction, and we wish everyone at Gipping Construction every success for the future. The EOT model really does suit the existing culture of the company and will hopefully provide a fantastic environment to continue to build upon existing successes and provide long-term financial stability in an ever-changing sector”.

Andy said: “Craig and the team put a lot of work into this deal to get it across the line. It was a complex transaction, and we greatly appreciated the technical expertise and commercial experience of the team from Ashtons. In addition to this, it was great to deal with people who were so personable and who were able to respond to our questions and concerns in ‘plain English”.

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