Clarion advises West Yorkshire fuel business on becoming employee-owned

Clarion advises West Yorkshire fuel business on becoming employee-owned

Hebden Bridge-headquartered fuel supplier Craggs Energy and its sister company in Devon, Moorland Fuels, have transferred ownership of the businesses to their 55-strong workforce in a deal advised by the corporate finance teams at Leeds law firm Clarion and chartered accountants BHP.

The directors have transferred 100% of shares in the businesses to their teams by establishing an employee ownership trust (EOT), funded by future profits.

The companies, both of which have been in operation for more than 10 years, have grown into significant players in the UK fuel industry, providing delivery services and wider solutions to homes, farms and businesses.

With bases in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, and Padiham in Lancashire, Craggs Energy, predominantly serves North England, while Moorland Fuels serves the Southwest from its Okehampton head office.

Group chairman Chris Bingham said: “I’ve been considering the option of employee ownership for quite some time and when we looked into the benefits and alternatives available to us, an EOT was the obvious choice as it allows the existing shareholders to plan their exit over a longer term while transferring the benefits to the employees.”

“As successful and ever-growing businesses, we could have sold to a third party, however, I place great value on my team and wanted to be able to reward the people who have grown the businesses to where they are today.”

The Clarion team, led by Kaira Clarehugh and Jonathan Simms, provided legal advice, while Amanda Waterhouse and Lewis Richardson of BHP established the EOT and advised on structure and taxation issues.

Clarehugh added: “In recent years, we’ve seen EOTs becoming more and more popular and it’s certainly a great way of rewarding the staff as well as motivating greater productivity and a bright future for the business and the community. We have worked with Craggs over a number of years and are delighted to have assisted the business on its move to an employee-owned model which is a fantastic fit for the culture of Craggs.”

Pictured: Group chairman Chris Bingham (centre) with some of the Craggs Energy team, including (left to right) Laura Hadfield, Abbie Wyatt, Danny Almond, Michelle McIntyre, Adele Greenwood, Dawn Newman, Emily Yates, Matthew Gledhill, Charlotte Bingham, Ajaz Ahmed and Kathryn Thompkins
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Mark Dugdale

Mark is the Editor of Yorkshire Legal. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk